COAS sticks to commitment

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PUTTING all wild speculations to rest, the media wing of the military has clarified that the incumbent Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has started his farewell visits ahead of his retirement from service on November 29.

In a press release on Thursday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated that the COAS visited Sialkot and Mangla garrisons as part of his farewell visits to various formations.

The appointment, extension or retirement of any of the services chiefs should be a matter of routine but unfortunately the issue has extremely been politicized in our peculiar environment and system.

Hardly a day passes without conjectures or rumours on the subject and as a result the uncertainty and confusion continues with negative consequences for the institution as well as the country.

This is despite the fact that there are clear laid down procedures, rules and laws governing appointment and extension in services of any of the services chiefs.

Head of the ISPR as well as General Bajwa himself categorically stated on more than one occasions that he would be retiring on completion of his extended tenure but recently rumours were rife about the possibility of another extension to him.

As the General himself was clear that he would not seek another extension, there was absolutely no justification for conjectures or rumours but some circles try to advance their own agenda by spreading such propaganda.

In fact, these rumours were lent credibility by public statements of PTI leader Imran Khan that he favours a limited extension for the incumbent Army Chief so that general elections are held and the next COAS is appointed by the next Prime Minister.

Similarly, latest media reports also suggested that the Prime Minister and PML (N) supremo Mian Nawaz Sharif are being advised by some circles to consider another extension for General Bajwa as a way out of the present deadlock.

The latest statement from the ISPR has, however, cleared ambiguity, if any, on the issue and now all eyes are set on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as to what choice he makes for the successor of General Bajwa.

The decision to retire on time is also a demonstration of the firm commitment of the COAS to honour his pledges in this regard.

He deserves credit for this like his credit for the institutional decision of the Army to remain apolitical.

 

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