A petition filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday challenged the “political” nature of a recent speech made by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

The petition, filed in the IHC by Colonel (Retd) Inam Rahim, argues that General Kayani had exceeded his professional authority by issuing a political statement.

The petitioner argues that it was not the job of the military chief to issue political statements, adding that, Kayani had already acted in violation of the Army Act by taking an extension on his term as military chief.

Gen Kayani’s recent statement created ripples in political, legal and civil society circles and several observers believe that his statement carried veiled challenges to the superior judiciary as well as the media.

In his address to a group of officers at the GHQ on Nov 5, General Kayani had stated that any efforts to create a divide between the people and the armed forces undermined the country’s greater national interest.

General Kayani had observed: “All systems in Pakistan appear to be in a haste to achieve something, which can have both positive and negative implications. Let us take a pause and examine the two fundamental questions; One, are we promoting the rule of law and the Constitution? Two, are we strengthening or weakening the institutions? In the ultimate analysis, all of us would have served Pakistan better if history and our future generations judge us positively.”