Legislation on Services Chiefs appointment wins nod of National Assembly

Legislation on Services Chiefs appointment wins nod of National Assembly

By Chronicler


National Assembly on Tuesday passed three government bills seeking to amend the procedures for appointment and extension of armed forces’ chiefs and the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan and Leader of the House Imran Khan also take part in proceedings of the Lower House of the Parliament and the House voted on three bills aiming to formalize tenures of the army, navy and air force chiefs.

According to Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) the Chairman Standing Committee on Defence presented the reports of the committee on the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2020; Pakistan Air Force (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and Pakistan Navy (Amendment) Bill, 2020. These bills were referred to the committee on January 3, 2020 after their introduction in the House.

Moved by the Minister for Defence, the House waived off the requirement of giving the members two days to read the committee reports on the above-mentioned bills and immediately proceeded to the clause-by-clause consideration and subsequently to the passage of these bills. The lawmakers belonging to PPPP withdrew their amendments to the bill on the request of the mover. The passage of the bills took place in the absence of the lawmakers belonging to MMAP and two independents. All parties present during the voting process voted in favour of the bills, stated FAFEN.

According to some media reports before the start of voting, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak took the floor to request the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) that it take back amendments it had suggested to the bills, saying he was making the request “keeping in mind the regional and national situation”. After it the party withdrew its amendments.

Afterwards voting on the bills started with Speaker Asad Qaiser asking legislators to express their assent or dissent with ‘Ayes’ and ‘Nays’. The bills were voted on clause by clause.

According to media reports some opposition lawmakers, including MNAs from the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and some representatives from FATA staged walked out from the House to mark their protest on these bills.

All the major parties including PML-N and PPP lent near unquestioning assent to them.

After the passage of these bills the session of the National Assembly session was adjourned to meet again on Wednesday at 4pm.


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