Pak Army Chief General Bajwa gets three-year extension

General Qamar Javed Bajwa, PM Imran Khan, India's Article 370 scrap
General Bajwa, 58, who was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff by former jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in November 2016, was to retire in November 2019. File Photo: PTI.

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s term has been extended for another three years by Prime Minister Imran Khan in view of the “regional security environment”, according to an official announcement on Monday (August 19).

General Bajwa, 58, who was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff by former jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in November 2016, was to retire in November 2019.

“General Qamar Javed Bajwa is appointed Chief of Army Staff for another term of three years from the date of completion of current tenure,” read the brief notification issued by the Prime Minister’s Office. “The decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment,” the Dawn reported, citing the decision made by Prime Minister Khan.

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Earlier, there were reports that Prime Minister Khan may give another term to Bajwa as both were working closely.

Also read: Pakistan Army prepared to ‘go to any extent’ to help Kashmiris: Gen Bajwa

Bajwa accompanied Khan on his maiden US visit during which he met US President Donald Trump at the White House. Khan had also nominated Bajwa as a member of the National Development Council, in an unprecedented move.

In Pakistan, the appointment of the Army chief is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and his government. The practice of the senior-most army officer being made the chief is not followed.

Bajwa’s extension comes amidst worsening ties between India and Pakistan following India’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370.

Reacting to India’s decision, Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner, after deciding to downgrade diplomatic ties with New Delhi. Pakistan also suspended its trade relations with India as retaliation against New Delhi’s decision.

India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.

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