Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Pakistan extends military chief's tenure amid Kashmir row

Bajwa 58 was appointed as the chief of Army Staff by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on November 2016 Bajwa 58 was appointed as the chief of Army Staff by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on November 2016
Patty Aguilar | 20 August, 2019, 08:40

Gen Qamar was set to retire on November 29 on completion of his three-year term but now he would continue to serve as head of the army until November 2022. The notification, personally signed by PM Imran Khan, added that "the decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment".

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa will stay in his post for three more years after his current term ends in November.

US President Donald Trump urged the nuclear-armed rivals over the weekend to come back to the negotiating table, conveying to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan the importance of "reducing tensions". He appealed to the public to make a video of those who throw garbage out and post it on social media. Earlier, army chief Ashfaque Parvez Kayani's tenure was extended by three years by the then Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government.

Gen Bajwa is the second army chief to get full term extension in recent times.

Commenting on the extension given to the Army chief, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that it was essential due to the regional situation.

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Sources also said while the Pakistan Army continues to have a huge influence over the civilian government, this will become more open and apparent in the coming months.

Unlike other potential candidates, very few had discussed and debated the candidature of Qamar when Nawaz Sharif was consulting his aides to name the next army chief.

He has been an instructor at Quetta's School of Infantry and Tactics, Quetta's Command and Staff College and the NDU.

Bajwa was appointed to lead the military in 2016, taking over from the hugely popular General Raheel Sharif, who won the hearts of millions with his bruising campaign against Islamic militants.

Prime Minister Imran Khan's decision comes against an all-out effort to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's special status and split the state into two union territories to be administered from national capital Delhi.

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