Today is a big day for Pakistan. They now have a new leader who’ll be running the show and he’s, ironically, appointed by the democratically elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Say hello to Lt General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is going to take over from General Raheel Sharif as the next Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan on November 29.
Lt Gen Bajwa will now be at the helm of the approximately 6 lakh soldiers, the sixth largest army in the world, besides acting as the go to man for everything that concerns Pakistan’s relations with other countries and national security.
The Lt Gen is the current Inspector General Training and Development GHQ. It is the same position that Gen Raheel Sharif served in before becoming the chief.
One reason why Lt Gen Bajwa was given the top job could be due to the fact that he is from the Baloch regiment with a good track record in PoK and Northern Areas. He served as the Chief of the Force Command Northern Areas.
The Northern Areas in Pakistan are the Gilgit Baltistan region in PoK, through which China is planning to crave the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
But according to Pakistani media reports, Lt Gen Bajwa is an army officer who considers terrorists a bigger threat than India. That’s a key thing to note.
The question in the minds of Pakistanis is whether the new army chief set an example like the outgoing General Sharif by working closely with a democratically elected government or will he go the Musharraf way.
The possibility of the latter is less likely if we go by what the Pakistani media reports on the attitude of the new chief.
General Raheel Sharif steps down as the most popular army chief of Pakistan because of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb against Taliban in NWFP and along the entire Pakistan-Afghanistan border. That he did not seek an extension unlike other Army chiefs of Pakistan adds another feather to his cap.
But Sharif also retires as the chief during whose tenure India conducted surgical strikes and took out terrorist camps in the PoK.