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Responding to the appointment of Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa as the new Pakistan Army Chief, Defence Expert Ranjeet Rai has said that the former can either be a friend to India by halting terror and ceasefire violations or he can pursue anti-India policies like his predecessors.
Rai told ANI that Lt Gen Bajwa's appointment comes at a crucial time when relations between India and Pakistan are tense and said, "He (Bajwa) takes over when a mortar war is going on between India and Pakistan along the international border and along the LoC. Now, he has two options, he can either stop terrorism or control the mortar firing from Pakistan or will he continue the old army chief's policies."
"He (Lt. Gen. Bajwa) is a very experienced officer. He has served in the northern command. He knows Kashmir. He has served in Congo with the United Nations. They say he is a soft spoken compassionate man and he comes with a lot of experience," added Rai.
After weeks of intense speculation and rumours, Lt. Gen. Bajwa was yesterday announced as the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of Pakistan.
Others in contention for the post of army chief were Bahawalpur Corps Commander Lt. Gen.
Javed Iqbal Ramday and Multan Corps Commander Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem.
Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa is currently serving at the GHQ as Inspector General of Training and Evaluation - the position Gen. Raheel Sharif held before becoming army chief - he has commanded the 10 Corps, the army's largest, which is responsible for the area along the Line of Control (LoC).
Lt. Gen. Bajwa has extensive experience of handling affairs in Kashmir and the northern areas of the country. As a major general, he led the Force Command Northern Areas. He also served in the 10 Corps as lieutenant colonel, where he was GSO.
Lt. Gen. Bajwa has served with a UN mission in Congo as a brigade commander alongside former Indian army chief Gen Bikram Singh, who was also there as a division commander.
He is from the infantry's Baloch Regiment, which has given three officers to the post of army chief - Gen. Yahya Khan, Gen. Aslam Beg and Gen. Kayani.
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