Saturday Nov 26, 2016

Politicians react to appointment of new COAS


KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Several political figures on Saturday presented mixed reactions on the appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the new chief of Pakistan Army, some extended their best wishes while others spoke of the challenges for the new commander ahead.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif extended his good wishes for the new army chief saying, "The military policy would continue and there would be no immediate change in it".

"The focus will remain on country's eastern border and the armed forces backed by the nation will meet all challenges," he said, while speaking to Geo News.

"The legacy of General Raheel Sharif would continue in the light of the examples he set," Asif added.

The defence minister expressed hope that the government and military leadership will continue to work together for the betterment of the country.

Opposition leader Khursheed Shah said the nation’s prayers were with the new army chief, adding that he hoped the new COAS will follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. “The new Army chief also has various challenges to face,” he said.

PTI chief Imran Khan also congratulated the new army chief and the CJCSC, while JI leader Siraj ul Haq said the appointment of the COAS in accordance with formal procedures was a good omen.

MQM Pakistan leader Farooq Sattar expressed his hopes that General Bajwa will continue with the policies of General Raheel Sharif to fight terrorism.

According to ANP leader Zahid Khan, border situation and tensions with India would be a bigger challenge for the new army chief, than terrorism.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif picked up General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the 16th Chief of Army Staff (COAS), putting an end to weeks of speculations pertaining to appointment on the powerful post.

General Bajwa will take command of the Pakistan Army from incumbent Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on November 29.

Meanwhile, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat has been appointed Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). Incumbent CJCSC General Rashad Mahmood is also set to retire on November 29.

President Mamnoon Hussain promoted the two lieutenant generals to the rank of four-star generals on the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.