Qamar Javed Bajwa to Replace Raheel Sharif as Pakistan's New Army Chief
Lt General Qamar Javed Bajwa takes charge on November 29.
Islamabad/New Delhi: Lt General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who has extensive experience of handling affairs in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the northern areas, was appointed by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the country’s new army chief.
Bajwa will take charge of the world's sixth-largest army by troop numbers in a formal handover from Raheel Sharif, whose three-year term ends on November 29.
Bajwa, who belongs to the Balochistan Regiment, was serving as Inspector General of the Training and Evaluation and has been elevated to position of four star general and appointed as Chief of Army Staff.
— Pakistan Defence (@defencepk) November 26, 2016
Pakistan's defence minister Khawaja Asif has confirmed that Bajwa was appointed as COAS and Zubair Hayat as Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC). "May God help us in these decisions and new appointments," he said.
He has also commanded the famed 10 Corps, the army's largest, which is responsible for the area along the Line of Control (LoC).
As a major general, he led the Force Command Northern Areas. He also served in the 10 Corps as lieutenant colonel.
He also served with a UN mission in Congo as a brigade commander alongside former Indian army chief Gen Bikram Singh, who was also there as a division commander.
Previously, he also remained the commandant of the Infantry School in Quetta.
The new army chief has wide experience of LoC affairs due to his extensive involvement with PoK and northern areas, reports said here.
The new army chief is from the infantry`s Baloch Regiment, which has given three officers to the post of army chief Gen Yahya Khan, Gen Aslam Beg and Gen Ashfaq Perviaz Kayani.
Others in contention for the post were Lt. General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, Bahawalpur Corps Commander Lt General Javed Iqbal Ramday and Lt Gen Zubair Hayat.
Outgoing army chief Raheel Sharif's choice of successor was said to be Lt. General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, who enjoys a high reputation within the force. But PM Nawaz Sharif was said to be wary of Nadeem’s “straight and blunt” approach.
Army chiefs in Pakistan are appointed by the civilian leadership, but the army has a big role to play in the decision. In 1999 when Nawaz Sharif who was the PM then appointed ISI chief Ziauddin Butt as the COAS dethroning General Pervez Musharraf, it was pre-empted by the larger Army leadership that rallied around Musharraf.
(With agency inputs)