Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday extended the tenure of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for another three years in view of the “regional security environment”, a statement by PM’s office said according to Dawn. The extension comes just three months ahead of Bajwa’s retirement.
“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 a notification issued by the Prime Minister’s Office. The announcement comes amid a fresh flashpoint with India over the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The extension of Bajwa’s tenure is only the second time in nearly a decade that an Army chief had their traditional three-year term increased. Bajwa, 58, was appointed as the chief of Army Staff by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on November 2016.
Last week, while commenting on the Kashmir situation, Bajwa said multiple efforts had been undertaken to “redress” the Kashmir situation and the army would support Kashmiri people “whatever effort it takes”.
“Our resolve to solve the Kashmir dispute is as strong as a desire for peace. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Kashmir and no matter how much time and whatever effort it takes, we will prove equal to the challenge,” Bajwa had said.
In his first remarks on the Modi government’s decision to scrap J&K special status and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories, the army chief claimed that his troops were “prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfil our obligations to the Kashmiri people”.