Ayesha Siddiqa has written an article titled “State within a State” (Dawn, 5-3-10). She finds it amusing that the Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has given extension to a couple of Lieutenant Generals on his own without consulting the civil administration. This she thinks has “major implications for the state.” She further contends: “That he has, in fact established a precedent which many would be tempted to follow even in the civil bureaucracy.” In the flight of her imagination she has made a very outrageous statement: “Since Gen Kayani has caught the imagination of his American friends, there are many in Washington who are in favour of an extension for the army chief. In case that doesn’t work out, the army chief would position his cards to get the preferred man in line to take over from him.”
She is totally ignorant of the fact that hpw there is an Act in Army Rules and Regulations ARR-I (Section 255-B) which reads:“Notwithstanding the provision of rules 262, 262-A and 262-B, the Chief of Army Staff may, without reference to the Federal Government, retain compulsorily in service any officer who may become due for retirement on completion of maximum age/service limit and extension(s) thereof for a maximum period of one year if so necessitated by administrative reasons.” The way he is fighting the war on terror, should be well known to her. Gen Kayani has not acted in any way which is beyond the limits of the provision.
As a defence analyst Ms. Ayesha Siddiqa must know that before making such statements against the serving COAS, she should have cared to read the Army Rules.
Dr. S.M. Rahman