Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa Not Going Anywhere

Whether you call it a move by sitting government or a decision by the Pakistan Army itself; General Qamar Bajwa is not going anywhere, well, for a period of another three years at least. For those who didn’t know, Gen Qamar was set to end his term and retire in November (November 29 to be exact), while on completion of his present three-year term.

The extension of Gen. Bajwa, explained Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, largely based on regional security environment, especially keeping in view the present, extremely tense situation all over the Occupied Kashmir. On the other hand, situation in Afghanistan is not any different than in Kashmir either and thus, it certainly was a Good Move by the PTI Government to approve an extension in Gen. Bajawa’s tenure as Chief of Army Staff.

If the news of COAS’s extension shocked the Indian Prime Minister (the whole Indian nation, in fact), it also drew kind of mixed reactions from within the country as various prominent personalities from both the PTI government and the opposition were seen sharing their respective opinions regarding the move.

People from various political circles said various things about the move but majority seemed to believe that considering Pakistan’s (and entire region’s) present security situation, the decision “wasn’t unexpected”. Take Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed’s words for instance, who sounded of the opinion that given the current political scenario between the two countries, this is what the situation demanded.

The Senator from Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) sates that “One cannot change horses’ midstream. We find ourselves in the middle of hugely evident security crisis, with trouble on both eastern and western borders, and under the circumstances,” he added, “Gen. Bajwa’s role as army chief is pretty crucial.”

“It is, thus hoped that COA’s extension is likely to serve Pakistan’s national interests,” Sen. Mushahid concluded.

When it comes to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), it appears that these two major political parties of Pakistan were slightly “displeased” over the news or else; were less “bothered” either about the move or its consequences.

Secretary General PML-N expressed his views by saying “The matter regarding extension in the army chief’s tenure appears an “administration matter” between the PM and the COAS.

“PML-N has refrained, always, from commenting over professional matters of the armed forces,” he had stated.

One of the PPP senior leaders Qamar Zaman Kaira shared his views saying something like, “The extension of the army chief, by no means amounts to breaking news. Not ‘Big Announcement’ as it was a pre-decided matter, with decision already being made; while the government just turning it into an announcement.”

Kaira’s prime focus also seemed on “MERIT” to which he explained by saying “While taking such decisions, merit should always be given priority as the same have certain impact on other officers’ morale.”

Further, Mr. Qamar Zaman didn’t sound very ‘hopeful’ over the decision’s long-term impact on the situation faced by the region. “Only time would tell,” he finished saying which, clearly reflect his (and PPP’s) displeasure over Gen. Bajwa’s Extended Stay. But what to do PML-N and PPP…..Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa is not going anywhere.

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