PM Imran gives COAS Bajwa three-year extension

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Shafaqna Pakistan; Prime Minister Imran Khan today approved a three-year extension in the tenure of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

As per a statement issued by the PM Office, the decision has been “taken in view of the regional security environment”.

General Bajwa was appointed as COAS on November 26, 2016, by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He took over command of Pakistan’s military from General (retd) Raheel Sharif, despite being fourth in order of seniority.

Born in Gakhar Mandi, Gujranwala, Gen Bajwa was commissioned on October 24, 1980 in the 16 Baloch Regiment, the battle-hardened force that in the past has given three army chiefs, including Gen Yahya Khan, Gen Aslam Beg and Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), he is a graduate of Canadian Forces Command and Staff College-Toronto, Naval Post Graduate University-Monterey, California and National Defence University (NDU)-Islamabad.

He has been an instructor at the School of Infantry and Tactics, Quetta, Command and Staff College, Quetta and the NDU.

He has also been Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade and Chief of Staff of Rawalpindi Corps. General Bajwa has commanded the 16 Baloch Regiment, an Infantry Brigade as well as Infantry Division in Northern Areas.

He had also commanded Pakistan Contingent in Congo, where he worked alongside the former Indian army chief General Bikram Singh, who according to The Hindustan Times, described Gen Bajwa as an ‘outstanding and professional soldier’.

Before being made the army chief, Gen Bajwa was serving as the Inspector General Training and Evaluation at the General Headquarters (QHQ), the same post his predecessor General (retd) Raheel was holding before his appointment as army chief in November 2013.

Having served as corps commander of Rawalpindi, Gen Bajwa has vast experience of dealing with issues related to Kashmir and the Line of Control.