Pak Army clears COAS extension rumours

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There were rumours that General Bajwa will be given a short extension, while vice chief of army staff will be appointed…reports Asian Lite News

The Pakistan army put to rest all speculations on Thursday of yet another extension for the incumbent chief as its official media wing confirmed that General Qamar Javed Bajwa has kicked off farewell visits, the media reported.

Despite the chief military spokesperson having already confirmed that General Bajwa will not be seeking another extension, speculations regarding the incumbent chief staying on were rife in recent weeks, Express Tribune reported.

There were rumours that General Bajwa will be given a short extension, while vice chief of army staff will be appointed, Express Tribune reported.

However, the ISPR’s latest statement made it abundantly clear that the incumbent COAS will formally take off his uniform on November 29.

This will end his six-year tenure, during which Pakistan saw many developments, both on the internal and external fronts.

With the army officially confirming General Bajwa’s retirement date, all eyes are now on Pak Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif concerning his choice of officer for the coveted slot.

It is expected that a summary carrying the names of potential candidates for the top job will likely be moved about a week before General Bajwa’s retirement.

However, given past practice, the formal announcement of the new chief will likely be made closer to his retirement date. Nevertheless, some officials claim that there was a possibility of the new chief being announced sooner rather than later, Express Tribune reported.

Meanwhile, the ISPR said the army chief met officers and men at two garrisons and addressed the troops.

Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has kicked off his farewell visits as the army chief visited Sialkot and Mangla garrisons, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement, ARY News reported.

The military’s media wing in a statement said that COAS Bajwa visited Sialkot and Mangla garrisons as part of his farewell visits to various formations.

The army chief met officers and men at both locations and addressed the troops, the ISPR said.

“COAS appreciated formations for their excellent performance during various operations, training, and natural calamities,” according to the ISPR press release.

During the visit, COAS advised troops to keep serving the nation with the same zeal and commitment no matter what the circumstances.

Earlier, on arrival at Sialkot, COAS was received by Lt Gen Muhammad Aamer and by Lieutenant General Ayman Bilal Safdar at Mangla garrison, ARY News reported.

Earlier, General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that he will not take an extension and retire after five weeks.

The COAS says he has no plans for an extension in his tenure and reiterated that he will retire after five weeks, the sources said.

General Bajwa said that the army will not play any role in politics, the sources quoted COAS.

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