Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has reiterated that he will retire after the completion of his second three-year term in two months, it was reported.
According to details, the Army chief made these remarks at a lunch at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington. COAS Bajwa is on a five-day visit to the United States (US), which includes meetings with senior officials of the Biden administration.
The COAS called on US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Adviser Jacob Sullivan, and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. Matters of mutual interest, regional security situation, and bilateral cooperation in various fields were discussed during the meetings.
“Both sides had convergence on major international issues including Afghanistan and need for cooperation to avoid humanitarian crisis and improving peace and stability in the region.” <via ISPR>
— Salman Masood (@salmanmasood) October 4, 2022
During the occasion, COAS Bajwa noted that the armed forces have distanced themselves from politics and want to remain so. Pertinent to mention that politicians in Pakistan have accused the armed forces of being involved in politics, despite the army rejecting the accusations time and again.
He further stated that reviving the country’s ailing economy should be the first priority of all segments of society, pointing out that the nation cannot achieve its targets without a strong economy.
Army to stay out of politics. Will retire on time: COAS Gen Bajwa.
— Yousaf Nizami (@paktoday) October 5, 2022
COAS Bajwa’s retirement
COAS Bajwa also pledged to retire after the completion of his second three-year term, saying that he would do as promised earlier. Important to note that the issue of COAS Bajwa’s retirement became quite controversial in Pakistan. To clarify, rumors surfaced that COAS Bajwa – who already received an extension in August 2019 when Imran Khan was the prime minister – would ask for another extension in his tenure.
Moreover, PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan made quite the headlines this year – ever since he was ousted – for his remarks on the Army Chief, for instance, Imran Khan accused the incumbent government of trying to appoint a “favourite” as the next army chief in November to save their skin in corruption cases.
Later, Imran Khan, in an interview said that the appointment of an army chief should be deferred until the next government is elected, which should then choose the new military head.
While political figures continue to make controversial statements regarding the COAS and military, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have continued to reject the claims and asserted that COAS Bajwa will retire as soon as his term completes.