Amendments to three bills regarding the tenure of the services chiefs were approved by the National Assembly on Tuesday. These include the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and the Chairman of the Joint Chief of staff committee (CJCSC).
The three bills include:
- The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2020
- The Pakistan Air Force (Amendment) Bill 2020
- The Pakistan Navy (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was also present in the National Assembly when the session started. As the session started, PTI MNA Amjad Ali Khan presented a report of the standing committee of the NA in defence of the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Defence Minister Pervez Khattak then asked the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to take back their proposals regarding the amendments to the bills in light of the regional circumstances. “This will create unity in the house and will create a better situation,” he said.
In response, PPP MNA Naveed Qamar subsequently took back has party’s proposals regarding the amendments to the bills. “Keeping in mind the situation in the country and the new situation in the region and after consulting with the rest of the opposition, […] in order to send a unified message, we (PPP) have decided not to press these amendments,” he said.
Then, Speaker of National Assembly Asad Qaiser read all the three bills word by word and put them up for a voice vote.
Major opposition parties, including PML-N and PPP, supported the legislation while far-right parties including Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), and several representatives from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) rejected the legislation and walked out of the National Assembly, declaring the House ‘fake’.
An MNA of North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar said in a tweet that they voted against the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill before walking out of the National Assembly.
We voted against the #ArmyAct before walking out. This parliament acted like a rubber stamp. Speaker didn't even allow the few dissenting voices to make their case. This is one of the darkest days in Pakistan's parliamentary history. It will take a long time to recover from this.
— Mohsin Dawar (@mjdawar) January 7, 2020
The session was subsequently adjourned till 4:00 PM on Wednesday.
In response to the matter, people are bashing PML-N, PPP, and PTI government on social media for supporting and passing such bills.
So it's officially end of PMLN politics.
— Faisal (@FaisalViewss) January 7, 2020
It took 30 seconds to the parliamentarians to sell their soul. The invisible military rule prevails with the help of opportunistic political puppets like Nawaz ,Zardari and Khan.Senate now needs to pass the act in less than 30 seconds to show it is more loyal than NA. #ArmyAct
— imad zafar (@rjimad) January 7, 2020
Well, she did say she knew that 'rasta' very well. Her father taught her well.
The tragedy is that 20 years from now, #PMLN's PM candidate Junaid Nawaz Safdar Sharif will be torturing us with tales of his mother's struggles for civilian supremacy, like Bhuttos do today. #ArmyAct pic.twitter.com/0unfW6ZV9W
— Asfandyar Bhittani (@BhittaniKhannnn) January 2, 2020