General Qamar Javed Bajwa took the charge of the most powerful post in Pakistan on Tuesday. The new army chief promised to improve the distress situation at the Line of Control.
Yesterday, General Sharif handed over the charge of world’s sixth-largest army by troop numbers to Bajwa at a ceremony held at the Army Hockey Stadium, close to the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. General Raheel Sharif became the first army chief in more than 20 years to resign before his term without getting an extension.
Many high-level military and civilian officers attended the ceremony and national songs and war songs played by traditional military bands. PM Nawaz Sharif appointed Bajwa on Saturday as Chief of Army Staff.
After taking the charge, Bajwa told the reporters that he will improve the situation at the LoC. He also warned India that any mistake from India’s side would be dangerous for them. “I want to make it clear to India that taking our policy of constraint and patience as any sign of weakness will prove dangerous for itself.”
He also alerted India on taking an aggressive stance in Kashmir. He said that India’s aggressive stance in Kashmir has “endangered” the region.
The army chief explained there is a need to work together for the progress. “This is a reality, that in South Asia, lasting peace and progress is impossible without solution of the Kashmir issue. For that, international community’s special attention is necessary.”
He added, “It is important that all institutions work together against external threats and internal threats. For this, we will need to follow the National Action Plan in letter and spirit.”
Bajwa said for the regional peace, the issues should be solved politically. He asserted the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an important matter in ensuring regional peace.
Earlier, he was serving as Inspector General of the Training and Evaluation and also served as the lieutenant general at the army’s largest 10 Corps, which is responsible for the area along the LoC.
As a brigade commander, he also served with a UN mission in Congo along with India’s ex-army chief General Bikram Singh, who was a division commander there. During their time in Congo, Gen Bikram Singh praised Bajwa for his performance.
According to Pakistani media and experts, Bajwa’s “pre-democracy credentials” and his low-profile influenced him to appoint Bajwa as the army chief.
Pakistan army has played a crucial role in civilian politics. Since the country’s independence from Britain, the military has been in charge of the country for 70 years.