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Wednesday February 08, 2023

Ex-army chief Gen Bajwa’s extension was a ‘mistake’: Asad Qaiser

“Everyone [in PTI ranks] is regretted over the mistake... whatever the circumstances were, a mistake had been made,” says former NA speaker

By Web Desk
December 03, 2022
Former National Assembly speaker and senior PTI leader Asad Qaiser. — Twitter/File
Former National Assembly speaker and senior PTI leader Asad Qaiser. — Twitter/File

Former National Assembly speaker and PTI leader Asad Qaiser has admitted that granting extension to then chief of army staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa was a mistake and a “wrong decision” of his government.

In an interview with a local TV channel, Qaiser said Saturday: “Everyone [in the party ranks] is regretted over the mistake. Whatever the circumstances were, a mistake had been made.”

Bajwa was due to retire on November 28, 2019 but then-prime minister Imran Khan approved a three-year extension to his tenure as the COAS on August 19 — just three months before he bid farewell to the top army post.

Meanwhile, the extension in General Bajwa’s tenure was challenged in the Supreme Court. Later, the petitioner pleaded with the court the he wanted to withdraw his plea, however, then-chief justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa rejected the application and converted the case into a suo motu notice, saying that the matter fell into the domain of public interest.

In November 2019, a three-member bench of the top court, in a brief order, announced that General Qamar Javed Bajwa would retain his post for another six months. The apex court had also asked parliament to legislate on the extension of an army chief during the period.

'Bajwa offered extension for life to foil no-trust motion'

On October 28, the military spokesperson, along with the intelligence chief of the country, fully exposed PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s conspiracy narrative against the Pakistan Army as well as the country, saying that Khan had offered Gen Bajwa extension for an indefinite period of time for helping him fail the opposition parties’ no-confidence motion against him.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General (DG), Lt-Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, said that General Qamar Javed Bajwa was offered an extension to his tenure for an indefinite period in March 2022 but the offer was turned down.

“If the commander-in-chief is a traitor, then why did you [Imran Khan] meet him secretly? Meeting [him] is your right, but it cannot be possible that you meet at night and call [him] a traitor in the day,” the ISI DG added.

The PTI chairman, however, dubbed the joint press conference as “foolish” and claimed that only “lies and half-truths” were told by the duo.