ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court has reserved its ruling on maintainability of a petition seeking the status of Field Marshal for incumbent Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif. The decision is likely to be announced today.
The petition, filed by two lawyers, Raja Samiul Haq Satti and Sardar Saleem Khan cites the Prime Minister and the Secretaries of defence and cabinet division as respondents..
The petitioners, last week, had requested the court to direct the respondents to elevate General Raheel Sharif to the rank of field marshal – the highest rank in an army. Field Marshal is considered as a five-star rank (OF-10) in modern-day armed forces in many countries.
During the hearing, Justice Amir Farooq inquired from the petitioner whether the Constitution allows the judiciary to appoint a field marshal. The petitioner replied that “the constitution doesn’t allow but the example of General Ayub exists”.
The petition highlights Gen Sharif, whose three-year term will be up on November 27, 2016, has launched the successful Zarb-e-Azab operation, which has countered the plans of terrorist organisations, and that the operation is still going on.
The petition argues that the army chief has initiated and formulated the National Action Plan and is also monitoring the ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
“It is a universal and divine law that whosoever rendered his services for the nation and humanity at a larger scale in an extraordinary, exemplary and selfless manner he shall be elevated to the highest level of military hierarchy,” the petition maintains.
The petition also details about Gen Sharif and his family, including his elder brother, Major Shabbir Sharif, who was martyred during the 1971 war with India and was awarded the Nishan-i-Haider, which is Pakistan’s highest military award, and about his maternal uncle, Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, was also awarded the Nishan-i-Haider during the 1965 war between Indian and Pakistan.