Pakistan's Law Minister Farogh Naseem resigns
Islamabad, Nov 26: Pakistan's Law Minister Farogh Naseem resigned on Tuesday to represent the government in a case regarding Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's extension in the Supreme Court, a senior minister said after an emergency meeting of the Cabinet. Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that Naseem had tendered his resignation during the Cabinet meeting.
"Prime Minister Imran Khan accepted Naseem's resignation," he said. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said that Naseem has resigned voluntarily. "He will present himself before the court tomorrow with the attorney general and represent the government's stance on General Bajwa's extension," he added.
Akbar said that Naseem had resigned as he could not argue the case as the law minister. He said Naseem would return to Cabinet once the case ended. The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the three-year extension given to the powerful Army chief Bajwa till Wednesday and said the entire process was "upside down", in a blow to Prime Minister Khan.
The unprecedented move by the apex court to suspend Prime Minister Khan's decision on August 19 could raise the tension between the judiciary and the powerful Pakistan Army. It also came just three days ahead of 59-year-old Bajwa's retirement on November 29 as the Chief of the Army Staff in his first stint.
The petition against Bajwa's extension was filed by a person named Raiz Rahi, who later field an application to withdraw it. However, the chief justice rejected his withdrawal bid and took up the petition as a public interest litigation under Article 184. The chief justice after suspending the government's notification adjourned the hearing until Wednesday.