Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday selected Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the country’s new chief of army staff, Dawn reported. Sharif also selected Lieutenant General Zubair Hayat as the chairman of the joint chief of staff committee. Both appointees will take charge of their new posts on Tuesday, the day present army chief Raheel Sharif retires.
Bajwa, who is currently serving as the inspector-general of training and evaluation at the army’s general headquarters, has previously commanded the 10 Corps that is responsible for security along the Pakistani side of the Line of Control. He also served with an United Nations mission in Congo alongside former Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh.
Bajwa’s appointment comes at a time when relations between Islamabad and New Delhi have worsened following the Indian Army’s surgical strikes on militant camps along the LoC on September 29.
On November 24, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said Pakistan violated the ceasefire agreement between the two countries 27 times between November 12 and November 21. The government also lodged a formal protest against the Pakistani Army targeting 18 villages along the LoC between November 16 and November 21, Swarup had said.
Similarly, Islamabad had claimed that three Pakistani soldiers and nine civilians had been killed in cross-border firing when Indian troops launched a massive attack against Pakistani posts along the LoC. However, during unscheduled talks between the director-generals of military operations of the two countries, India said that the Army had only targeted locations from where Pakistani forces had carried out ceasefire violations.