The United States on Sunday welcomed the appointment of the new army chief of Pakistan, expressing hope that the country would never allow the use of its soil for terrorism against its neighbours.
The US embassy in Islamabad in a statement welcomed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s appointment of Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the new Chief of Army Staff.
“We look forward to continuing our work with Pakistan’s elected leaders, with Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and with the Pakistani military to advance our shared counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism goals for Pakistan and the region, and to enable Pakistani authorities to honour their pledge to prevent the use of Pakistan’s soil for terrorist attacks against its neighbours,” it said.
It also congratulated the outgoing Chief of Army Staff General Raheel and his family upon the conclusion of his three-year appointment.
“General Raheel has been a respected partner throughout his tenure as Army Chief. We appreciate his leadership in combatting terrorism in Pakistan and across the region, and his support for Pakistani civilian governance and institutions. He has demonstrated an impressive commitment to the peace, security, and well-being of the Pakistani people,” it said.
The embassy also congratulated the new Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Committee Lt Gen Zubair Hayat. It also recognised the dedicated service of retiring General Rashad Mahmood whose place General Zubair will take.
Sharif appointed Bajwa as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) by elevating him to the rank of four-star general on Saturday.
Bajwa will take charge of the world’s sixth-largest army by troop numbers in a formal handover on Tuesday, when General Raheel formally retires.