Pakistan’s political, military leadership on same page: FM Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to extend the tenure of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) for another three years keeping in mind the security environment in the entire region, including Afghanistan and Indian-Occupied Kashmir.

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Talking to media here at the federal capital, FM Qureshi said, “you are aware of the situation in Kashmir, the security situation in the region, and where our efforts are for the peace process in Afghanistan. Looking at the entire situation, the prime minister using his constitutional authority has decided to appoint Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as Chief of Army Staff for another three years.”

A clear message was being conveyed to India that there was “continuation and clarity” in the political and military leadership in Pakistan, said the minister.

When asked about the possibility of the situation in Occupied Kashmir improving in the coming days, FM said, “At this stage, we are not completely aware of the entire situation in Occupied Kashmir as there is curfew in the region. When the curfew is lifted, then we will know what exactly happened there.”

He said that, according to some international media reports, there were some clashes in Occupied Kashmir even on Saturday.

Calling attention to the irresponsible statement made by his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh, FM Qureshi said, “you should not have any doubts over their aims and intentions.”

“A very clear message (is being conveyed) that Pakistan’s political and military leadership are not only ready, but they are also on one page. This was very important,” said the foreign minister.

The decision to appoint Gen Bajwa as Army chief for another three years was taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier today.

The official notification from the PM Office read, “General Qamar Javed Bajwa is appointed Chief of Army Staff for another term of three years from the date of completion of current tenure. The decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment.”

General Qamar Javed Bajwa was first appointed as Pakistan’s Army chief in November 2016 by then-premier Nawaz Sharif. He took over command from former Army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif.

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