ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government in an emergency Cabinet meeting on Wednesday approved amendment to the Pakistan Army Act 1952, nearly four weeks after it assured the Supreme Court of passing a legislation on the extension and reappointment of an Army Chief within six months.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had extended Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure through a notification on August 19. However, on November 26, the Supreme Court suspended the government order, citing irregularities in the manner the Army Chief was granted an extension.

On November 28, the Army Chief got a six-month conditional extension from the apex court, ending an unprecedented legal wrangle.

In yesterday’s special meeting of the federal cabinet, which was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the amendment made to the clauses related to the Army Chief’s tenure and extension were passed unanimously, sources said.

The amended Bill will now be presented before the Parliament in order to come into effect. Though the details regarding the amendment are not yet clear, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said that it included a proposal to extend the tenure of all the three services chiefs.

The sources said that the Cabinet meeting only discussed one point agenda and passed the amendment to the Army Act unanimously. They said that government planned to table the bill in the ongoing session of the parliament.

According to a private TV channel, the government is likely to table the bill in the parliament Friday (tomorrow). It will share the draft with the opposition Thursday (today), the channel added.

According to Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, the cabinet approved amendment in Section 172 of the Army Act and Article 155 of the Services Rules, Samaa TV reported. The amendment bill also includes a suggestion to extend the tenure of all the three services chief, Khattak said.

As per the TV channel, a government committee, comprising Pervez Khattak, Amir Dogar, Ali Muhammad Khan and Azam Swati, has been formed to hold talks with opposition parties regarding the amendment bill.

The PM also appreciated the federal cabinet on the goals set for the Pakistan to achieve in the year 2020.

On Tuesday, President Arif Alvi summoned a session of upper and lower houses of the parliament on 24-hour short notice. This move was also surprised the government and opposition members.

Keeping in view the herculean task to get the bill passed from the parliament, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry changed his tone on Wednesday while speaking in the upper house of parliament.

Fawad said there was a need for a national agenda to take matters forward. “How can Pakistan move ahead when there is a huge gap between the government and the Opposition?” he asked.

The minister said how could the system work if there was no legislation on the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Pakistan Army Act and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The administration and the opposition would have to bridge the gaps, at least on national issues, he reasoned. He further said that the minister for defence, Pervez Khattak, was heading a government committee that was in talks with the Opposition parties regarding legislative matters.

“We need consensus on the accountability, ECP, and the judiciary. [God-willing], we shall move forward with mutual consent.”