Pakistani daily intrigued at Gen. Singh moving court

It's intriguing to find the serving Indian Army chief going all the way to the court when "all he wanted was a one-year extension of his tenure", a leading Pakistani daily said Monday.

An editorial in the Dawn said that although "it has been a while since we separated, Pakistanis cannot help but peep into Indian territory to find out what is cooking there". Pakistan and India became Independent countries in August 1947.

"India's treatment of minorities is a topic close to our hearts. But it provides us with so much else that we consider beneath our dignity or beyond our call to produce ourselves -- films, television soaps, rags-to-riches stories, etc. Every now and then it also offers us an opportunity for free and meaningful discussion on a subject we are still too shy to locate in our own situation," Dawn said.

"It is almost natural then for the episode involving the executive, the army chief and the judiciary in India to have been closely followed this side of the Wagah," it said. The editorial added: "It was intriguing to find a serving army chief going all the way to the court when all he wanted was a one-year extension of his tenure."

It said that the issue at the base of the affair was itself no less mystifying, "given the subcontinental habit of forgetting birthdays".  Gen. V.K. Singh contested the papers that had wrongly recorded his date of birth as May 10, 1950, "claiming this amounted to pushing back the auspicious occasion by a year". 

"He believed he was born on May 10, 1951, and therefore would attain the age of retirement (62 under Indian law), not in May 2012 but in May 2013. The court ruled that Gen. Singh's words and the facts were not the same thing," Dawn noted.
It went on to say that the court agreed with the executive, and the army chief saw sense in withdrawing his plea - "the graceful acceptance of reality still appeared to be the preferred way". 
"The executive has welcomed the gesture. This should ensure 60-odd birthday bumps for the general on his big day." On Feb 10, a bench of the Supreme Court of India made it clear that Gen. Singh's date of birth for service purposes would continue to be May 10, 1950, and not May 10, 1951, as mentioned in his school leaving certificate.

Gen. Singh consequently withdrew his plea, demanding that his birth date be treated as May 10, 1951, and not 1950. The army chief had gone to the Supreme Court Jan 16 insisting he was actually born May 10, 1951, not in 1950 as claimed by the government based on his service record.

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