PILDAT Monitor on Inter-Institutional Relations in Pakistan | May 2020

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This monitor is meant to identify key developments during the month on Inter-Institutional Relations in Pakistan with selected high-profile international developments included occasionally. For the purpose of this monitor, the institutions are meant to be the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive.

In this Issue:

  1. Parliament Meets to Review Coronavirus Situation
  2. Supreme Court Orders Opening Malls
  3. Army Officers Appointed in ‘Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority’
  4. Cases against Military Court Convictions
  5. Youm-e-Takbeer 2020
  6. Senate Chairman calls on Prime Minister
  7. Prime Minister’s Meetings with National Security Team
  8. Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad calls on COAS
  9. COAS receives Chinese Ambassador
  10. COAS calls Iranian Counterpart to Express Concern
  11. Chinese Military Medical Team visits NCOC
  12. Increased Military Influence in Civilian Sphere feared as new normal in Sri Lanka

Parliament Meets to Review Coronavirus Situation

Parliament Building, Islamabad

The National Assembly of Pakistan

During May, the National Assembly of Pakistan met for 3 days during May 11-15 for a combined time of twelve hours and thirty-eight minutes, in a session that was requisitioned to debate and review the coronavirus situation in Pakistan.

In its sitting held on May 11, the house mainly discussed the COVID-19 pandemic [1] laying bare the difference of approach between the centre and Sindh Province over managing the pandemic. While opposition parties blamed the Federal government for creating confusion and leaving the provinces alone to fight the pandemic, federal ministers blamed the opposition parties for trying to achieve political mileage from the situation and maintained that all decisions in fighting coronavirus pandemic were taken with consensus from the platform of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) and the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). [2]

On a point of order, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, MNA, urged that Pakistan Television should televise the speeches of the opposition leaders as well. It later transpired that the PTV Parliament channel, which is a cable channel carried by only a few Cable Distributers, continued to broadcast the speeches live but the widely-covered and relatively more popular terrestrial PTV News channel stopped showing the speeches after PTI Parliamentary Leader and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s speech.

According to the National Assembly, a total of 223 members attended the first day’s sitting.

In its second sitting held on May 13, the session lasted for six hours and twenty minutes while 208 members attended it. [3] The sitting saw further heated debate between government and opposition on management of coronavirus. While disagreeing on a strategy to manage the pandemic, government and opposition parties took turns criticizing the absence of Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition from the house. [4]

In its 3rd sitting held on May 15, the session was held for two hours and fifty minutes and 195 members attended the session. [5] However, as reported in the media, the third and last day of the session also concluded without any constructive outcome or consensus on how Pakistan, as a country, should deal with coronavirus pandemic in a unified manner. [6]

The session also saw an un-announced walk-out by the Opposition MNAs on the first day when the floor was given by the presiding officer to Mr. Murad Saeed, the Federal Minister for Communication.

The Senate of Pakistan

A 2-day session of the Senate was also held on May 12 and 14. The first sitting on May 12 lasted for two hours and fifteen minutes and was attended by Fifty-Four Senators.[7] The second sitting, on May 14, was attended by 54 Senators while its duration was Six hours and Thirty-Five minutes. [8]

On May 12, the house mainly discussed Government’s policy on Coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan. Responding to various queries, Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, MNA, said that, to the PTI government, all the ‘positive’ features of the 18th constitutional amendment were acceptable, but there is a need to revisit the ‘weak’ parts. However, since the PTI alone does not enjoy a two-thirds majority in the Parliament, “the opposition therefore need not worry.” [9] In response to questions regarding PM Khan’s absence from the parliament, he said that the Prime Minister was in Islamabad and chaired a meeting on virus-related issues daily. “In a parliamentary democracy, the importance of the parliament cannot be eschewed,” he added.[10]

The issue of disconnect between the Federal and Sindh Governments remained a topic of controversy in the Senate sitting held on May 14 also. On the management of coronavirus, Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said that if violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) on COVID-19 continue, “we will have to revert to strict lockdown — something which may cause deaths due to hunger.” [11]

Reportedly, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Babar Awan ruled out the possibility of the powers of NAB being curtailed or a deadlock occurring in the accountability process. He said that 26 and 14 private member bills moved by the opposition were pending in the National Assembly and the Senate, respectively.

Continued absence of Prime Minister from Parliament was questioned again in the Senate and members felt that Prime Minister Imran Khan should have attended the Parliament sessions on coronavirus.

The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution moved by Senator Raja Muhammad Zafar ul Haq to acknowledge and appreciate China’s timely support for Pakistan to fight coronavirus. It also rejected the baseless propaganda against China from certain quarters, which stems from geopolitical rivalry and is more an attempt to divert attention from their own internal failings as it has no factual basis.

In presenting a policy statement on Kashmir in the Senate, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said that India was continuously committing violations along the Line of Control to divert the attention of the world and give a wrong impression to it that there was an infiltration going on in India from launching pads from across the borders. These violations have increased to an alarming proportion and since January 2020, India has committed 975 violations [along the LoC] in which six civilians were martyred and 69 critically injured. He also said that coronavirus-related lockdowns were making the world realise about the restrictions of fundamental freedoms being faced by the people of India-held Kashmir. He said that international media and international observers should be allowed to visit IHK, India should immediately withdraw its 900,000 occupation forces from held Kashmir and reverse its step of annexation of the disputed region and that Pakistan will continue to highlight state terrorism of India at international forums and stand by the wishes of the people of Kashmir about their right to self-determination.

Supreme Court Orders Opening Malls

Logo of the Supreme Court of Pakistan

As coronavirus cases surged past 41,000 across Pakistan with over 1,570 new cases reported on May 17 [12] and a total death toll across the country at 924 at the time, a 5-member Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan, passed the order to set aside the federal government’s decision to close shops, markets and businesses on Saturdays and Sundays.[13]

The Court ordered all provincial governments to open all shopping malls during a suo motu examining governmental steps to manage coronavirus. The Chief Justice, reportedly, said that “coronavirus, apparently is not a pandemic in Pakistan.” “We find no reason why so much money is being spent on this coronavirus, for that, Pakistan is not the country which is seriously affected by it.” The Court observed that the “restriction put in the minutes of May 7 meeting of the National Coordination Committee was contrary to Articles 4, 18 and 25 of the Constitution and thus declared to be illegal and accordingly set aside.”

The bench, reportedly, expressed the hope that the government would not divert all resources to prevention of the coronavirus pandemic alone. The country should not be made dysfunctional because of this disease, said the chief justice.

The following day, as the Attorney General pleaded the Supreme Court to seek an opinion from a team of epidemiologists for gauging real threat level of pandemic and amend its order of May 18, the court order said that the SC, for the time being, did not find this essential as the government functionaries were alive and could do whatever they could in accordance with the law. [14]

Upholding its decision, a written order issued by the Supreme Court on May 20 stated that there was no readiness of the government to deal with coronavirus while the government is required to provide to the people of Pakistan safe and healthy living conditions. [15]

Termed as a fresh reminder of the possible alleged encroachment of the executive domain by the judiciary, the Supreme Court order was largely received with fear that playing down the impact of a pandemic may carry disastrous consequences for the country’s population and their access to a health system which is likely to be inundated as cases grow. The judgment was termed as particularly embarrassing for the Sindh provincial government which, with the largest number of confirmed cases among the provinces and territories of Pakistan, had been forcefully advocating a stricter lockdown. [16]

Army Officers Appointed in Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority

Prime Minister with Chief of Army Staff

According to a notification issued by the Establishment Division, the Federal government has appointed two military officers in the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority. [17]

Reportedly, Major General Amer Aslam Khan has been appointed as Deputy Chairman in BS-21, while Brigadier Nasir Manzoor Malik has been appointed as Executive Director (Admin) in BS-20. Both the officers have been appointed with immediate effect.

Cases against Military Court Convictions

Supreme Court of Pakistan Building

A day after the Peshawar High Court adjourned hearing of nearly 300 petitions against the conviction of suspected militants by military courts,[18] Supreme Court asked the Peshawar High Court that while it can proceed on merits of the cases of military high courts, it cannot issue interlocutory orders, which include grant of bail to appellants convicted by military courts on terrorism charges. [19]

A Peshawar High Court bench, consisting of Chief Justice, Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, and Justice Mohammad Nasir Mehfooz, has been hearing these petitions and has earlier been asking Government for case records. However, on May 12, as representative of the Pakistan Army’s judge advocate general branch produced sealed records in 78 cases and asked for more time for producing remaining records, the bench said that it would not wait for production of remaining records and would start hearing bail petitions filed by some convicts.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed, which restrained Peshawar High Court from granting bails to those convicted by military courts, was hearing Federal Government’s plea through 71 appeals against the November 2018 order of the Peshawar High Court that had set aside military courts’ convictions.

Youm-e-Takbeer 2020

Chaghi mountain in Balochistan as the site of Pakistan’s nuclear tests

Since the fateful 28th day of May in 1998 when Pakistan became a nuclear power through testing its first nuclear bombs, May 28 is celebrated nationally every year as “Youm-e-Takbeer.”

Pakistan’s nuclear programme is generally understood to have been initiated by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and followed through since by every government as a national programme above any partisan political or civil-military considerations. It culminated in Pakistan testing its nuclear bomb on May 28, 1998 after India preceded by testing its nuclear weapons on May 11, 1998. It is also understood that the decision to test at the time was made by Prime Minister, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, after a detailed consultation.

On May 28, 2020, DG ISPR, Major General Babar Iftikhar, tweeted that “On 28 May 1998, Pak successfully established credible min nuclear deterrence & restored balance of power in the region. AFs salute all those involved from conceptualisation to actualisation especially scientists & engineers who made this possible. Long Live Pakistan. #YoumeTakbeer. [20]

Responding immediately to his tweet, many twitter users objected to his tweet and pointed out that his tweet appeared to reflect Armed Forces’ inability to give credit to civilian leaders who initiated the programme and saw to its successful culmination.

Federal Minister of Science and Technology, on appreciating DG ISPR’s message of congratulations especially to scientists & engineers who made this possible behind Pakistan’s nuclear capability, tweeted his appreciation by writing “On the dot.”[21]

His tweet stirred the controversy further as another twitter user mocked his message by writing that [22] “[I pay] tribute to architects, builders and doctors of Shaukat Khanum hospital” (Shaukat Khanum ke architect, mistry, mazdooron aur doctron ko salaam).

Famous writer Mr. Anwar Maqsood satirically tweeted that the Minister of Science and Technology plans to invent time machine, take Prime Minister Imran Khan back in time for 22 years where he will remove Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and test nuclear weapons himself. (Jald hi Pakistan mein time machine bana kar wazir-e-azam Imran Khan kau bayees (22) saal peeche bhaijain ge jahan who Nawaz Sharif ko hata kar khud aitami dhamake karwayain ge: Fawad Choudhry.) [23]

On May 28, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed had tweeted that the decision to test its nuclear weapons on May 28 was Pakistan’s “finest hour. It offers a good lesson in crisis decision-making, done with full consultation & consensus: all political parties & Services Chiefs were consulted, although they had varying views, they put it to PM Nawaz Sharif to decide in ‘national interest.” [24]

The inability to commemorate a national milestone above partisan politics and considerations became more apparent when Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, claimed on May 30 that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was against conducting the nuclear tests in 1998 in response to India’s tests and indicated that it was done at the orders of the military. [25]

Responding to this, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed tweeted on June 1 that the “decision to respond in kind to India’s May 11 explosions was taken by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a timely, decisive & courageous manner.” [26] He also tweeted a TV commentary by senior journalist Mr. Mazhar Abbas and an article by Mr. Hamid Mir [27] as historical evidence that the decision to test was taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in consultation with the national civil and military leadership at the time.

Senate Chairman calls on Prime Minister

Senator Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman Senate, with Mr. Imran Khan, Prime Minister

On May 4, Chairman Senate, Senator Sadiq Sanjrani, called on Prime Minister, Mr. Imran Khan. Reportedly, matters of mutual interest were discussed in the meeting. [28]

Prime Minister’s Meetings with National Security Team

Prime Minister of Pakistan in conversation with COAS, DG ISI and members of the Cabinet

On May 20, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Prime Minister’s Office reported that Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, MNA; Planning Minister, Mr. Asad Umar, MNA and DG ISI, Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed were also present during the meeting. Dawn also reported that Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability, Mr. Shahzad Akbar was also part of the meeting and termed it as “unusual.” [29]

According to the PMO, matters relating to “internal security, current situation vis-a-vis COVID-19 pandemic, relief efforts and the overall regional situation” were discussed at the meeting. [30]

DG ISI with Prime Minister

On May 6, Director General ISI, Lt. Gen. Faiz Hamid, called on Prime Minister. Reportedly, national security issues were discussed in the meeting.[31]

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee with the Prime Minister

On May 4, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Nadeem Raza, called on Prime Minister. According to the PMO, professional matters of Armed Forces of Pakistan were discussed during the meeting. [32]

Federal Minister of Defence was not part of any of the above meetings held between Prime Minister and members of his national security team.

Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad calls on COAS

Chief of Army Staff with US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation

On May 08, Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation, called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS). [33]

The ISPR reported that “issues of mutual interest and overall regional security situation including Afghan reconciliation process” were discussed between the two.

The COAS also reportedly said that “Our support towards peace process is a manifestation of our goodwill towards the cause.” [34]

COAS receives Chinese Ambassador

H.E. Mr. Yao Jing, Ambassador of China to Pakistan

On May 12, H.E. Mr. Yao Jing, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), The ISPR reported that the two discussed “matters of mutual interest including regional security issues and COVID-19.” [35]

COAS expressed gratitude for China’s support related to immediate medical supplies and all other assistance including visit of Chinese medical experts to help Pakistan fight the pandemic.

COAS calls Iranian Counterpart to Express Concern

General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Maj. Gen. Bagheri

The ISPR reported that on May 12, Chief of Army Staff called Chief of the Armed Forces of Iran, Maj Gen Bagheri to express “concerns on recent terrorist attack on Pakistan security forces resulting in shahadat of 6 security personnel near Pak-Iran border. [36]

Reportedly, General Qamar Javed Bajwa informed his Iranian counterpart that while Pakistan has started fencing its side of the border with Iran, it will require mutual bilateral cooperation to ensure border security and stem smuggling activity which is also used by terrorists and Narco traffickers for covering their movement. The COAS also “reiterated Pakistan’s desire for regional peace and stability on basis of mutual respect, non-interference and equality.”

The two also reportedly discussed COVID-19 and the need to improve border terminals to address such issues.

Chinese Military Medical Team visits NCOC

Chinese Military Medical Team at the NCOC

On May 19, A ten-members Chinese Military Medical team, headed by Major General Huang Qingzhen, visited National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) where it shared Chinese experiences of early identification, early isolation and early treatment which helped China to contain the coronavirus pandemic. [37]

The team was in turn briefed about Pakistan’s efforts against the pandemic so far, by the NCOC officials.

Increased Military Influence in Civilian Sphere feared as new normal in Sri Lanka

President of Sri Lanka Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa

In an analysis of Asian politics and culture, from Banyan columnist and other correspondents, the Economist, in its May 14 edition, has discussed that the Sri Lankan President, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is putting soldiers in charge of everything, which is dangerous for the national reconciliation of Sri Lanka after a long civil war. [38]

The Sri Lankan President, himself a former lieutenant-colonel, has earlier served as a controversial defence chief, who played a leading role in crushing Tamil rebels in a bloody civil war. [39]

Very few Sri Lankans predicted the extent to which under President Rajapaksa rule military types would move into senior positions in government, development and even health, fighting the covid-19 epidemic. Quoting a compilation by the International Truth and Justice Project, the Economist says current or former officers in Sri Lankan government appointed by President Rajapaksa now include the president’s chief-of-staff, heads of national intelligence, prisons and prisoner rehabilitation. Generals, past or present, are in charge of customs, the port authority, development, agriculture and poverty eradication. The army commander, General Shavendra Silva, runs the coronavirus task-force. Top brass are also expected to be named to plum ambassadorships. The Economist argues that while there is not much reason to believe that military men do a better job, the main question is accountability as positions filled by officers have little civilian oversight.

Sri Lanka’s Militarisation of COVID-19 Response captured by the IJTPSL [40]

On May 19, another development occurred appearing to reinforce what the Economist calls, quoting Kanishka Jayasuriya of Australia’s Murdoch University, the “normalisation” of military influence in the civilian sphere, as informal networks become formal under Mr. Rajapaksa.

Marking the 11th anniversary of the ‘National War Heroes Day’ celebrated to commemorate forces and civilians killed in the 37-year-long civil war in Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa promoted 117 Army Officers to their next ranks. The Military Secretariat Branch termed the promotions as one of the largest segments of promotions made in recent times. [41] Those promoted also included Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, who was convicted in UK after he was filmed threatening a Tamil activist outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in 2018. [42] Criticising in particular the promotion of five officers with questionable records, the ITJP has said that they should have been vetted and screened out of any official position in accordance to Sri Lanka’s commitments under UN resolution 30/1 to security sector reform. The ITJP has also said that these promotions come against a backdrop of increased militarisation and civilian jobs being given to retired and serving officers close to the President.[43]

References

  1. National Assembly of Pakistan (2020) 1st Bulletin of the Assembly (21st Session). Available at: http://www.na.gov.pk/uploads/documents/1589277380_343.pdf (Accessed 8 June 2020).
  2. Wasim, A. (2020) Barbs fly in NA over fight against Covid-19. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1556480/barbs-fly-in-na-over-fight-against-covid-19 (Accessed 8 June 2020).
  3. National Assembly of Pakistan (2020) 2nd Bulletin of the Assembly (21st Session). Available at: http://www.na.gov.pk/uploads/documents/1589539414_257.pdf (Accessed 8 June 2020).
  4. Wasim, A. (2020) Lawmakers play blame game in NA over Covid-19. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1556948/lawmakers-play-blame-game-in-na-over-covid-19 (Accessed 8 June 2020).
  5. National Assembly of Pakistan (2020) 3rd Bulletin of the Assembly (21st Session). Available at: http://www.na.gov.pk/uploads/documents/1589539445_170.pdf (Accessed 8 June 2020).
  6. Dawn (2020) NA debate on virus remains inconclusive. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1557435/na-debate-on-virus-remains-inconclusive (Accessed 8 June 2020).
  7. Senate of Pakistan (2020) Senate of Pakistan Daily Journal 298th Session. Available at: http://www.senate.gov.pk/1web/DailyJournal/298/12-05-2020.pdf (Accessed 8 June 2020).
  8. Senate of Pakistan (2020) Senate of Pakistan Daily Journal 298th Session. Available at: http://www.senate.gov.pk/1web/DailyJournal/298/14-05-2020.pdf (Accessed 8 June 2020).
  9. Khan, A. I. (2020) No plan to scrap 18th Amendment, FM Qureshi assures Senate. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1556720/no-plan-to-scrap-18th-amendment-fm-qureshi-assures-senate (Accessed 08 June 2020).
  10. Ibid
  11. Khan, A. I. (2020) Govt, opposition trade graft charges in Senate. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1557198/govt-opposition-trade-graft-charges-in-senate (Accessed 08 June 2020).
  12. Junaidi, I. (2020) 30,000 tests per day sufficient, says Asad. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1557914 (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  13. Iqbal, N. (2020) SC orders opening of all shopping malls. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1558179/sc-orders-opening-of-all-shopping-malls (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  14. Iqbal, N. (2020) SC ignores plea to get experts’ views on pandemic. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1558424/sc-ignores-plea-to-get-experts-views-on-pandemic (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  15. Rao, S. (2020) Safe, healthy living conditions to citizens is right to life: SC. Available at: https://nation.com.pk/21-May-2020/safe-healthy-living-conditions-to-citizens-is-right-to-life-sc (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  16. Mehboob, A. B. (2020) Questions of judicial overreach and governance in Pakistan. Available at: https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1680251 (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  17. Sahi, N. (2020) Maj Gen Amer Aslam appointed Deputy Chairman Naya Pak Housing Authority. Available at: https://nation.com.pk/13-May-2020/maj-gen-amer-aslam-appointed-deputy-chairman-naya-pak-housing-authority (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  18. Dawn (2020) Cases against military court convictions adjourned. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1556757/cases-against-military-court-convictions-adjourned (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  19. Iqbal, N. (2020) PHC stopped from issuing orders in cases of military courts convicts. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1556949/phc-stopped-from-issuing-orders-in-cases-of-military-courts-convicts (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  20. DG ISPR (2020) 28 May. Available at https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/1265985677600206850 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  21. Ch Fawad Hussain (2020) 28 May. Available at https://twitter.com/fawadchaudhry/status/1266000327653953536 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  22. iAmmaraaaa (2020) 28 May. Available at: https://twitter.com/iAmmaraaaa/status/1266028718268518400 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  23. Anwar Maqsood (2020) 29 May. Available at: https://twitter.com/AnwarMaqsoodPk/status/1266226488099196928 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  24. Mushahid Hussain Sayed (2020) Available at: https://twitter.com/Mushahid/status/1265970618224316416 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  25. Live Mint (2020) Nawaz Sharif was against Pakistan’s nuclear tests: Sheikh Rashid. Available at: https://www.livemint.com/news/world/nawaz-sharif-was-against-pakistan-s-nuclear-tests-sheikh-rashid-11590849466144.html (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  26. Mushahid Hussain Sayed (2020) 1 June. Available at: https://twitter.com/Mushahid/status/1267412832104206336 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  27. Hamid Mir. (2020) ایٹمی دھماکا کس نے کیا؟ Available at: https://jang.com.pk/news/777603 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  28. Business Recorder (2020) Chairman Senate meets PM. Available at: https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594347/chairman-senate-meets-pm/ (Accessed: 10 June 2020).
  29. Raza, S. I. (2020) PM makes a strong case for debt relief at WEF. Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1558649/pm-makes-a-strong-case-for-debt-relief-at-wef(Accessed 10 June 2020).
  30. PMO (2020) Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. Available at: https://pmo.gov.pk/press_release_detailes.php?pr_id=3458 (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  31. PMO (2020) Director General ISI Lt. Gen. Faiz Hamid called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. Available at: https://pmo.gov.pk/press_release_detailes.php?pr_id=3432 (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  32. PMO (2020) Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. Available at: https://pmo.gov.pk/press_release_detailes.php?pr_id=3431 (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  33. ISPR (2020) Mr Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), today. Available at: https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5715 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  34. Syed, B. (2020) Pakistan backs Afghan talks, Bajwa tells US special envoy.Available at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1555705/pakistan-backs-afghan-talks-bajwa-tells-us-special-envoy (Accessed: 10 June 2020).
  35. ISPR (2020) H.E Mr Yao Jing, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), today. Available at: https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5718 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  36. ISPR (2020) COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa called Chief of the Armed Forces of Iran Maj Gen Bagheri. Available at: https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5717 (Accessed: 04 June 2020).
  37. The News International (2020) Chinese military medical team visits NCOC. Available at: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/661291-chinese-military-medical-team-visits-ncoc (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  38. The Economist (2020) Sri Lanka’s new president is putting soldiers in charge of everything. Available at: https://www.economist.com/asia/2020/05/14/sri-lankas-new-president-is-putting-soldiers-in-charge-of-everything (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  39. Ethirajan, A. (2019) Gotabhaya Rajapaksa: Sri Lanka’s controversial ex-defence chief eyes power. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48592714 (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  40. IJTPSL (2020) PRESS RELEASE: Sri Lanka’s Militarisation of COVID-19 Response. Available at https://itjpsl.com/assets/press/English-ITJP_COVID-19-press-release-Merged-copy.pdf (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  41. JDS (2020) Latest Sri Lanka military promotions “reeks of brazen impunity.” Available at: http://www.jdslanka.org/index.php/news-features/politics-a-current-affairs/949-latest-sri-lanka-military-promotions-reeks-of-brazen-impunity (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  42. Tiwari, V. (2020) Sri Lankan Army Officer, Who Was Convicted In UK, Got Promoted On War Anniversary. Available at: https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/rest-of-the-world-news/controversial-sri-lankan-army-officer-rewarded-with-promotion.html (Accessed 10 June 2020).
  43. ITJPSL (2020). Press Release: No vetting for Sri Lanka’s New Major Generals. Available at: https://itjpsl.com/assets/press/English-press-release-22-May-2020.pdf (Accessed 10 June 2020).

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