ISLAMABAD - The PTI’s government is all set to initiate legislation on amendment in the Army Act in today’s National Assembly session, which will empower the prime minister to extend tenure of chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and three services chiefs for three years.

The government side will present important amendment in the act with start of proceedings to formally open necessary discussion in the National Assembly on it.

The federal cabinet the other day had approved amendment in Army Act for extension in tenure of all military chiefs. The cabinet meeting proposed a three-year extension in the tenure of all military chiefs - Army, Navy and the Air Force. The proposed bill stated that prime minister of Pakistan could advise an extension in the tenure of any services chief.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had allowed extension/reappointment of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for another six months and asked the government to determine the tenure, terms and conditions of the service of the army chief through legislation within the period.

The court summarized its findings after exploring the scope of Article 243 of the Constitution — which governs the army chief’s appointment, reviewing the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, the Pakistan Army Act Rules, 1954, and the Army Regulations (Rules).

Bill likely to be presented in NA today

The house is expected to witness full presence of lawmakers from both sides of aisle. Prime Minister Imran will also participate in proceedings of the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, a report of the parliamentary body was presented in the National Assembly on Thursday which proposed amendment in rules and procedure making it mandatory for the prime minister to respond to questions in the House.

The report of the standing committee on rules and procedure, moved by chairman standing committee on rules and procedure Rana Qasim Noon, proposed an amendment in rules and procedure making it mandatory for the prime minister to respond to questions about government affairs on first Wednesday of each session and subject to his availability.

According to the amendment in rules of procedure and conduct of business in the National Assembly, “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Chapter, subject to availability of the prime minister, there shall be ‘Prime Minister’s Question-Hour’ on the first Wednesday once in each session for answering questions on the matters relating to the overall substantive policy or the performance of government,”.

The new sub-rule (2) to be inserted in Rule 69 of the assembly rules. says, “Fifty percent questions shall be taken from opposition benches”.

It may be mentioned here that PML-N’s parliamentary leader Khwaja Asif on Wednesday had raised the issue that Prime Minister Imran Khan had intended to answer the questions on the floor but as a matter of fact he did not appear in the house in last year [2019].

Prime Minister Imran Khan, after winning election of prime minister, had announced that he would make himself available on a fortnightly basis to the members of parliament to reply to their questions relating to different issues on the floor of the house on the pattern of the British parliament.