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Govt set to table COAS extension bill in Parliament after successful talks with opposition

ISLAMABAD: The government will table a bill to amend the Constitution and the Army Act to pave the way for a three-year extension in Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure in today’s session of the National Assembly, ARY News reported.

The decision to this effect came during a meeting of a parliamentary committee on legislation.

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak presided over the meeting that decided to present the Army Services Act Amendment Bill in the lower house of Parliament. The bill will be referred to the relevant standing committee for discussion.

The decision to table the bill came in the wake of successful talks between the government and the opposition on the issue.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has assured the government of its unconditional support to the bill, whereas the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has cautioned the government against rushing the bill through Parliament in utter disregard for the democratic process.

Led by Pervez Khattak, a delegation of the ruling PTI had held talks with leaders of opposition parties the other day.

Talking to the delegation, Bilawal had underscored the need to follow the democratic process while making amendments to the Army Act.

The PPP chairman said that they wanted to positively engage with the democratic legislative process. He said that the more important the legislation the more important it is for us to follow the democratic process.

On the other hand, PML-N leader Mushahidullah Khan in a statement said the party has no objection to COAS Gen Bajwa’s tenure extension. He said the prime minister can get powers to extend an army chief’s tenure after a tweak in the Army Act.

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