Ex-Speaker admits COAS extension was a ‘mistake’

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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.