ISLAMABAD – While waiting absolutely no time in undertaking the task that he feels he was born for, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi also hurriedly signed a medical prescription into law, The Dependent has reliably learnt.
Having got all dressed up in his favourite all whites for the big day, seated in his favourite clinic chair to pass the three bills concerning the tenure of the three services chiefs, President Alvi ended up putting his signature to the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2020, the Pakistan Air Force (Amendment) Bill 2020, the Pakistan Navy (Amendment) Bill 2020 and a toothache prescription underneath the papers.
As a result where clause 8A of the Pakistan Army Act 1952, for instance, reads, “The president shall, on the advice of the prime minister, appoint a general as chief of army staff, for a tenure of three (03) years,” and clause 8B says, “the president, on the advice of the prime minister, may reappoint the COAS for additional tenure of three(03) years,” the temporarily deemed clause 8C asks for, “1 tablet painkiller Advil, antibiotic Augmentin 625 mg 2 tablets daily, reduce refined sugar intake, floss and brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and interdental cleaning”.
Even though the legal nature of what continues to be called clause 8C of the Pakistan Army Act is yet to be ascertained, given that the toothache prescription wasn’t passed by the Parliament, some legal analysts maintain that it now holds the status of a presidential ordinance.
Politically analysts note that this is the latest Constitutional crisis to hit the country. “More than a bit surprised by the clause 8C of Army Act amendment bill signed by the president. While it may give stronger teeth to those whose tenure it is extending, it would render the institution toothless,” noted Senior Lawyer Salman Akram Raja.