ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s service extension has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Advocate Col (R) Inamul Rahiem filed a petition-cum-charge sheet on Saturday against the extension of General Kayani as COAS and termed it a violation of the Constitution.
Kayani is approaching 60, the age of superannuation, on April 20, 2012. The petitioner prayed to the court to direct the federal government to appoint the senior most general, presently the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shamim Wyen, as new COAS, as per Article 184(3).
The petitioner, who served as Judge Advocate General in Pakistan Army for 27 years, maintained that according to Army Rules and Regulations 1998 too did not allow Kayani to retain his present post.
He asked the court whether the extension of Kayani, against law of the land, is not tantamount to deprivation of rights of his successors Lt Generals who could in turn be promoted to the position of COAS by virtue of their seniority.
While providing some facts, and references to past instances, the petitioner maintained that whenever the principal of seniority was violated and a junior one was promoted as COAS, the outcome was always Martial Law. “The examples of General Zia and Pervez Musharaf are before us, both revolted against their appointees, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, one was hanged and the other exiled.”
The petition further adds that during the tenure of Kayani as Army Chief, two major attacks took place at Rawalpindi Cantonment, and one at Parade Lane where a serving Major General, Maj Gen Bilal, along with dozens of serving officers and their children were killed. The other attack was on the GHQ where a Brigadier and around 16 security officials lost their lives. “It was complete failure of command and intelligence.”
The petition further alleged: “The operations in Fata, Wana and Swat where all the drone attacks were carried out with the connivance of the military chief and no action taken against those operations, notwithstanding their ability to stop is tantamount to violation of Articles 9 and 14 of the Constitution.”
The COAS is responsible for the deaths of the citizens whose responsibility is to defend the boundaries of Pakistan and the citizens of it, the petitioner stated. “But he failed to respond and abide by the Constitution and oath taken there which is in violation of Articles 9, 14 and 5 of the Constitution.”