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Pakistan's Supreme Court Grants Temporary Extension To Army Chief's Term

Pakistani Army Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrives at the Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad in March.

Pakistan's Supreme Court has granted a six-month extension to the tenure of the country's army chief after initially blocking the government's decision to extend his term.

"We leave this matter to parliament to make law regarding this," Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said as he delivered the verdict on November 28.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa has served three years in his role and in August Prime Minister Imran Khan said he should stay on because of ongoing security concerns.

The government extended Bajwa's tenure for another three years. However, the Supreme Court on November 26 suspended the extension, raising questions about the legality of the decision.

That move by the Supreme Court has shocked a country long accustomed to seeing the military get its way. The army has long been a major force in Pakistani politics, governing the country directly for several extended periods.

The army chief usually serves a three-year term and Bajwa's original term was due to expire at midnight on November 28.

During Bajwa's tenure, the military has been accused of electoral manipulation, meddling in politics, suspension of civil liberties, and stifling the media to help Khan to win the elections in July last year.

The military denies interfering in politics.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP