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Defence Minister Khawaja Asif. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Responding to the media hype over amendments to the Pakistan Army Act (PAA), Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has clarified that the government is not considering making any “major changes” to the Act.

In a tweet, Asif called the media hype over amendments to the PAA “uncalled for”.

In his statement, the defence minister Asif said that the government is not considering any major changes to the Army Act. The Supreme Court, in a 2019 judgment, had asked to review relevant clauses of the Army Act, he explained.

He added that the apex court’s decision will be complied with in due course.

The defence minister’s clarification comes after a local daily reported that major changes would be made to the law.

In a report, Daily Dawn said the government “seems” to be considering amending the army act to empower the appointing authority — the prime minister — to retain “any candidate through a simple notification, rather than having to go through a complex, constitutional process”.

The report further mentioned that after some changes, the report will be laid down before the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) after the Ministry of Defence’s nod last month. Later, it will land before the parliament for legislation.

The reports come as the army is all set to see a change of command, with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa retiring next month. The army chief is busy conducting farewell visits nowadays.

PML-N — the major stakeholder in the ruling coalition — has decided that the senior-most military official whose name will be at the top of the list sent to the prime minister would be appointed for the coveted slot.

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