Will Bajwa seek extension after his term ends? Pakistan Army replies: Report

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was granted an extension in June 2020 by former prime minister Imran Khan, five months before he was due to retire. He was appointed to the top post in 2016 by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.(Reuters)
Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.(Reuters)
Published on Apr 14, 2022 05:26 PM IST
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By | Written by Aryan Prakash

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa is neither asking for an extension nor will he accept it, the Pakistan Army said on Thursday denying speculations whether the incumbent general wanted another term in office, Pakistan news daily Dawn reported. 

"He will retire on time on November 29, 2022," Major General Babar Iftikhar, the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army's information wing, said. 

Bajwa, the four-star general, was granted an extension in June 2020, five months before he was due to retire. A career infantry officer from the Baloch Regiment, the 61-year-old general was appointed to the top post in 2016 by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. 

The development comes amid the political drama which unfolded in Pakistan after the ouster of Imran Khan through a no-confidence vote in the national assembly. PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as the prime minister on April 11. 

There had been reports of a fallout between the former prime minister Imran Khan and the all-powerful Pakistan Army. Khan apparently lost support of the powerful Army after he refused to endorse the appointment of the ISI spy agency chief last year. Finally he agreed but it soured his ties with the army.

In fact, there were reports that Imran Khan had tried to sack Bajwa as the Pakistan Army chief, but a notification was not issued by the defence ministry. During a rally addressed by PTI leader Sheikh Rasheed in Punjab, ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ slogans were chanted by the protesters. These slogans were apparently aimed at the country's Army.

The Pakistan Army during the 79th Formation Commanders' Conference held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi claimed that there was a "recent propaganda" campaign by some quarters to malign the country's military, ANI reported. 

"Pakistan Army is aware of its responsibilities and shall continue to defend territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan against all internal and external threats under all circumstances," Pakistan army chief Bajwa was quoted as saying by Geo News.

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