Retirement resolve

As per his desired intent, COAS plans to doff the uniform at the end of his extended six-year tenure this month

November 12, 2022


The army chief is keeping his words. As per his desired intent, he plans to doff the uniform at the end of his extended six-year tenure this month. His resolve to move on is certainly paving the way for a smooth transition, and is in line with the highest values of professionalism of the armed forces. General Qamar Javed Bajwa these days is calling on farewell visits, and the other day he visited Sialkot and Mangla garrisons. His decision not to seek an extension, which is anyway forthcoming for him as political forces across the board had hinted at it in an endeavour to further stability, speaks high of his judgment to uphold national and institutional interests.

The speculations on General Bajwa’s continuity, however, were put to rest by a formal presser from the army’s official wing. This is a welcome development too, as the army wants to stay out of rumour-mongering, especially at a time when politics is on the downslide. If the high-profile huddle this week of Formation Commanders is any criterion, it sent down the message quite categorically that the security forces are alive to the needs and aspirations of national integrity, and took a comprehensive debrief over internal and external situations. The reported desire in the military leadership to stick to its professional role and avoid rubbing shoulders in politics has emboldened its image as a saviour.

The incumbent chief has played a great role at home and abroad in serving national interests. The Bajwa Doctrine introduced renewed strength to Pakistan’s strategic role in the region, especially in Afghanistan, and the bloodless transfer of power in Kabul is a case in point. Likewise, the chief’s desire to promote harmony in the region by eulogising geo-economics and by normalising relations with India is progressive thinking of a serving General. It’s time for all stakeholders in society to bury the hatchet and strive for unanimity and integration.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2022.

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