ISLAMABAD, Jan 08 (APP):The Senate on Wednesday passed three separate Bills to amend Pakistan Army Act 1952, Pakistan Air Force Act 1953 and Pakistan Navy Ordinance 1961, allowing for extension in the tenures of three services chiefs.

The Upper House of the Parliament accorded approval to all the three Bills –the Pakistan Army Act (Amendment) Bill 2020, Pakistan Navy Act (Amendment) Bill 2020 and the Pakistan Air Force (Amendment) Bill 2020 — with majority votes.

Minister for Defence Pervez Khan Khattak presented the Bills in the House.

The three Bills introduced in the House were Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2020, Pakistan Air force (Amendment) Bill 2020 and Pakistan Navy (Amendment) Bill 2020.

These Bills also determined the tenure, reappointment or extension in tenure of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Earlier, the Chairman Standing Committee on Defence Walid Iqbal presented the reports of the Standing Committee on these Bills in the House.

According to the statement of objects and reasons of the three Bills, the Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2020 seeks to amend the provisions of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, so as to empower the President, on the advice of the Prime Minister, to specify the tenure and terms and conditions of service of the Chief of the Army Staff or the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee including the grant of extension and re-appointment of the Chief of the Army Staff or Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The Pakistan Air Force Amendment Bill 2020 seeks to amend the provisions of the Pakistan Air Force Act, 1953 so as to empower the President, on the advice of the Prime Minister, to specify the tenure and the terms and conditions of service of the Chief of the Air Staff or Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, including the grant of extension, and re-appointment of the Chief of Air Staff or the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The Pakistan Navy Amendment Act 2020 seeks to amend the provisions of the Pakistan Navy Ordinance, 1961 so as to empower the President, on the advice of the Prime Minister, to specify the tenure and the terms and conditions of service of the Chief of the Naval Staff or the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee including the grant of extension, and re-appointment of the Chief of the Naval Staff or the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The President appoints the Services Chiefs on the advice of the Prime Minister for tenure of three years and their tenures would be extendable to further three years.

The President on the advice of the Prime Minister would also determine the terms and conditions of the Services Chiefs in the national security interest or exigencies from time to time.

According to the Bills, notwithstanding, anything contained in these Acts or any other law, or any order or judgment of any court, the appointment, reappointment or extension of the army, air force or navy chiefs, or the exercise of discretion by the appointing authority in this regard, shall not be called into question before any court on any ground whatsoever.

According to the Bills, the retirement age and service limits prescribed for a General, under the rules and regulations made under the Act, shall not be applicable to the Chief of the Army Staff, during his tenure of appointment, reappointment or extension, subject to a maximum age of sixty four years. Throughout such tenure, the Chief of the Army Staff shall continue to serve as a General in the Pakistan Army.

The retirement age and service limits prescribed for an Air Chief Marshal, under the Rules and Regulations made under the Act, shall not be applicable to the Chief of the Air Staff, during his tenure of appointment, reappointment or extension, subject to a maximum age of sixty four years. Throughout such tenure, the Chief of the Air Staff shall continue to serve as an Air Chief Marshal in the Pakistan Air Force.

The retirement age and service limits prescribed for an Admiral, under the rules and regulations made under this ordinance, shall not be applicable to the Chief of the Naval Staff, during his tenure of appointment, reappointment or extension, subject to a maximum age of sixty four years. Throughout such tenure, the Chief of the Naval Staff shall continue to serve as an Admiral in the Pakistan Navy.

The President may on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee from amongst Generals in the Pakistan Army, Admirals in the Pakistan Navy, or Air Chief Marshals in the Pakistan Air Force for a tenure of three years.

It is pertinent to mention here that the legislation will formally become Acts after assent of the President.