Ex-speaker admits COAS extension was a ‘mistake’

Says it was a collective decision of all political parties

News Desk December 04, 2022
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser. PHOTO: INP

Former National Assembly speaker and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader Asad Qaiser has said that his party’s decision to extend ex-chief of army staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure in 2019 was a ‘mistake’ that they ‘regret’.

Qaisar expressed these views in an interview to a private news channel after a week of Qamar Javed Bajwa’s retirement.

Qaiser was speaker of the house during the tension, which ended up showing the door to the PTI’s government through vote of no-confidence.

After resisting till the last moment, he handed over the seat to Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq to proceed with the historic voting that resulted in first time ouster of any prime minister through the constitutional process.

Bajwa was appointed COAS by PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif in 2019 and extended by PTI chairman Imran Khan in 2019 - serving the nation as army chief for six years.

Qaisar said, “Everyone [in the party ranks] is realising that it was a mistake to grant him [Bajwa] an extension.”

Refusing to take full the responsibility of the decision, he added that it was a “collective decision” of all political parties to extend the army chief’s tenure.

Commenting on the current political scenario, former speaker said that his party was ready to negotiate provided that elections were a prominent part of the agenda.


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