On his farewell trip, Gen. Bajwa says goodbye to more formations.

On his farewell trip, Gen. Bajwa says goodbye to more formations.
On his farewell trip, Gen. Bajwa says goodbye to more formations.
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ISLAMABAD: The army on Thursday sought to allay any rumors that Army Chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa intended to remain on by claiming that he was already on his farewell trip.

As part of his goodbye visits to various units, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa stopped by the garrisons in Sialkot and Mangla, according to a statement from ISPR.

The army commander spoke to the troops and met with commanders and soldiers at both sites on Thursday. He praised formations for their outstanding performance during numerous operations, training exercises, and natural disasters. No matter the situation, the COAS urged soldiers to continue serving the country with fervor and dedication.

Earlier, Lieutenant General Muhammad Aamer welcomed the COAS upon his arrival in Sialkot, and Lieutenant General Ayman Bilal Safdar welcomed him at the Mangla garrison.

At the conclusion of his prolonged service, Gen. Bajwa will retire on November 29. He had stated his intention to retire this year some months prior.

The general himself had twice in the past few months made it clear that he had no intentions to carry on, once during his visit to the United States and once more while speaking at the National Security Workshop at National Defense University. ISPR would later confirm the general’s retirement plan on at least a few occasions.

However, none was ready to accept it due in large part to the ongoing political unrest. When faced with a vote of no confidence, even the former prime minister Imran Khan felt that the political action against him was motivated by Gen. Bajwa’s approaching retirement. According to a recent news conference by top military authorities, he had so extended his offer to Gen. Bajwa indefinitely in an effort to prevent the vote against him from the then opposition.

Gen Bajwa finally started his farewell visits to formations on Nov 1 with a visit to the Army Air Defence Command and followed up the next day with a visit to Armed Forces Strategic Forces Command. Since then, he has quietly toured a number of formations.
His visit to Peshawar Corps on Wednesday came close on the heels of the last corps commander’s conference (on Tuesday), which was being closely watched by political observers.

Many people think that the trip to Peshawar was intentionally planned to indicate that the succession process was about to begin following the meeting of the top brass, which was likely to be the final one that Gen. Bajwa would have presided over with a formal agenda.

The public’s doubt that Gen. Bajwa will step down at the conclusion of his term was one problem, but another was the former prime minister Imran Khan’s opposition to the choice of the next top commander by the present administration.

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