After refusing to give an extension to Chief of Army staff General Raheel Sharif during their government, some PML-N leaders seemed all too eager to support legislation giving an extension to the current COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
PML-N came in on the slogan of “Respect the Vote”, however their abrupt shift in ideology has confounded and even angered PML-N workers.
It was reported that Nawaz Sharif had sent senior PML-N leader and member of the National Assembly Khawaja Asif, a memo advising party leaders not to “show undue haste” in deliberation over the bill & to protect the dignity of parliament.
However, Khawaja Asif denied the existence of any such memo. He said that the decision of the party to support the extension was on the instruction of Nawaz Sharif, rather than against it. Asif also confirmed during an interview with Shahzaib Khanzada on Geo News that the move prompted criticism from PML-N supporters.
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense passed 3 separate bills on Friday within 3 hours to change laws governing the tenures of services chiefs and chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff. The move to lend support to these bills is seen by many as PML-N backtracking on its new found ideology of respecting the people’s vote and Nawaz Sharif’s struggle for civilian supremacy.
Report by Haider Kaleem & Munizae Jahangir