Spare institutions


DESPITE repeated appeals by saner elements that institutions should not be dragged into politics, attempts are being made to make them controversial on one or the other excuse.

This is evident from the unnecessary debate over appointment of new Army Chief or extension of the incumbent one and verbal attacks against the Chief Election Commissioner.

The PTI leader apparently took another U-turn when, on Tuesday, he told newsmen that he never spoke about extending the tenure of the incumbent Army Chief.

Explaining, he said, he talked about deferring the appointment of the new Army Chief until the next elections.

It amounts to giving a new twist to his earlier stance as there is hardly any difference between extension and deferment of the appointment for an uncertain period except that the formal extension would envisage a timeframe while deferment would be for an indefinite period.

Imran Khan also repeated his demand that PML(N) and PPP leadership should have no role in the appointment of the Army Chief and that it should be done purely on merit.

This position is against the constitutional and legal scheme of things and Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has rightly pointed out that it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister to appoint the COAS and he would do so when the time approaches.

This is an unnecessary debate as it triggers unfortunate comments and remarks about the integrity of the hopefuls and the well-defined procedure for the purpose.

Institution-bashing is assuming dangerous dimensions and there is an urgent need to exercise restraint in all circumstances, forgetting petty political interest.


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