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Pakistan: After SC decision, PTI contacts allies to amend Army Act

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has started contacting allies as the government looks to amend the Army Act to continue army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension beyond six months.

The development comes days after Pakistan’s Supreme Court granted conditional permission to extend Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa’s tenure.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met a delegation of the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Sunday in Karachi.

Pakistan based newspaper Dawn quoted an MQM-P source as saying that the main purpose of the meeting was to show that the PTI-led coalition, of which the MQM-P is a vital part, was intact and that there would be smooth sailing in legislation pertaining to the extension of army chief’s tenure. Qureshi and MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui spoke to media after their meeting.

“We are bound to [carry out] that legislation. We have accepted it respectfully,” Foreign Minister Qureshi said, responding to a question if the government would succeed in amending the Army Act.

Siddiqui said his party would continue to extend “unconditional” support to the PTI-led government on “important national issues”.

On November 28, in a major blow to the PTI government and Pakistani Army, the Supreme Court had granted conditional permission to extend the country’s incumbent Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure by only six months instead of three years, which the Imran Khan-led government had given in August.

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