Not seeking extension: COAS Bajwa


Peace and stability can only be achieved if rule of law and state’s writ is established: Army Chief
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa Friday said that he will not take an extension and retire after five weeks. According to media reports, the COAS said that the army will not play any role in politics.
He said he would not be seeking another extension in his tenure, which ends on November 29, asserting that the army had decided to distance itself from the country’s politics. He made these remarks while addressing a security workshop in Islamabad. According to journalists who attended the workshop, the army chief said the military had decided to remain “apolitical”.
It is pertinent to note that the extended term of General Bajwa is ending on November 29 and the government has announced that the appointment of his successor will be made in due course and according to the Constitution. PTI Chairman Imran Khan has called for deferring the appointment, saying the incumbent rulers are not qualified to take a decision in this regard.
Gen Bajwa’s statement comes on the same day the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified former premier and PTI Chairman Imran Khan from being a member of parliament, finding him guilty of misdeclaration in the Toshakhana reference.
Earlier this month during a visit to the United States, Gen Bajwa had confirmed he would not be seeking another extension to his tenure while speaking at a lunch at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington. During that gathering, Gen Bajwa had also said the armed forces had distanced themselves from politics and wanted to remain so.
Earlier in April, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Babar Iftikhar had also made it clear that Gen Bajwa was neither seeking an extension nor would he accept it. The statement by ISPR had come during a press conference days after Imran’s ouster as prime minister through a vote of no-confidence. During that presser, the head of the military’s media wing had also claimed that the military was “apolitical”.