A petition seeking Field Marshal’s status for Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif was on Friday dismissed by the Islamabad High Court, weeks ahead of his retirement from the powerful post.
Justice Aamer Farooq observed that the court lacked jurisdiction to direct the legislature in this regard.
When judge asked the petitioner’s counsel Raja Saimul Haq Satti if there was any law under which the federal government might be asked to elevate Gen Raheel to field marshal, he said the federal government might make a new law for the purpose, Dawn reported.
In his order, Justice Farooq said: “No direction can be issued to the legislature to legislate a particular law.”
The order declared that the petition was “without merit and dismissed”.
Petitioner Sardar Adnan Saleem had sought the high court’s help to elevate Gen Raheel, 60, to the rank of Field Marshal in the greater national interest.
The petition, which had named the prime minister and the secretaries of defence and cabinet division as respondents, said Gen Sharif launched the Operation Zarb-i-Azb against terrorists and it was still in progress.
It said Sharif had also initiated and formulated the National Action Plan for the safety and security of Pakistan and was also monitoring the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
Sharif, currently serving as the 15th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army, was appointed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on November 29, 2013 for a three-year term.
If Sharif hangs up his boots on November 30, he would be the first army chief to retire on time in two decades. His predecessors Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Gen Pervez Musharraf got extensions, while Gen Jehangir Karamat was sent home prematurely.
There has been only one Field Marshal in Pakistan. Former military ruler Ayub Khan, who ruled from 1958 to 1969, appointed himself Field Marshal while serving as president and commander-in-chief.