RAWALPINDI – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appointed General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the 16th Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan armed forces.
A career infantry officer belonging to the Baloch Regiment, Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has been appointed as the new COAS, while Lt Gen Zubair Hayat has been appointed the CJCSC.
Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Lt Gen Zubair Hayat will be promoted to the rank of four-star generals.
Both generals would take up their new posts from Tuesday, the day the current army chief Raheel Sharif retires.
Others in contention for the post of army chief were Bahawalpur Corps Commander Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday and Multan Corps Commander Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem.
All four generals are from the PMA’s 62nd long course, but have had different career trajectories.
Previously, serving at the GHQ as Inspector General of Training and Evaluation – the position Gen Sharif held before becoming army chief – General Bajwa has commanded the 10 Corps, the army’s largest, which is responsible for the area along the Line of Control (LoC).
Lt Gen Bajwa has extensive experience of handling affairs in Kashmir and the northern areas of the country. As a major general, he led the Force Command Northern Areas. He also served in the 10 Corps as lieutenant colonel, where he was GSO.
Despite his extensive involvement with Kashmir and northern areas, he is said to consider extremism a bigger threat for the country than India.
Lt Gen Bajwa has served with a UN mission in Congo as a brigade commander alongside former Indian army chief Gen Bikram Singh, who was also there as a division commander.
He has previously also remained the commandant of the Infantry School in Quetta.
His military colleagues say he is not attention-seeking and remains well-connected with his troops.
Gen Bajwa is also said to be an apolitical person without any biases. He is from the infantry’s Baloch Regiment, which has given three officers to the post of army chief — Gen Yahya Khan, Gen Aslam Beg and Gen Kayani.