Former Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh has praised Pakistan’s new Army chief Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as a true ‘professional’.“In the UN operations, General Bajwa’s performance was totally professional and outstanding. But a military officer’s conduct in the international environment is different from the way he conducts himself back home. There, he is governed by his country’s national interests,” General Singh was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
General Bajwa served as a brigade commander in the UN peace-keeping operations in Congo in 2007 under General Bikram Singh.
Singh further said it’s important to “wait-and-watch” how General Bajwa conducts himself.
“General Bajwa is well-versed with the complexities, nature of operations and terrain along the LoC. He has also handled Kashmir extensively during his career,” another Indian army official was quoted as saying.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday appointed Gen Bajwa as next army chief.
The appointment of Gen Bajwa has come as a surprise to some given that he was second last in order of seniority among the five generals whose names were forwarded to the prime minister to fill the key slots of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
Although a military official said seniority was irrelevant in this case since all were course mates. Premier Sharif preferred Gen Bajwa over Corps Commander Multan Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadim Ahmed and Corps Commander Bahawalpur Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday in view of certain considerations.
What impressed Sharif about Gen Bajwa is his ‘apolitical nature’ and crucial role he is thought to have played in supporting the democratic process during the 2014 dharna by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).