FM Qureshi says Pakistan's political, military leadership on one page

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

“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,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad.

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

“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,” said the foreign minister when asked if any improvement was expected in Occupied Kashmir and Afghanistan following the decision.

He said that, according to some international media reports, there were some skirmishes in Occupied Kashmir even on Saturday. “When the curfew is lifted, then we would know what exactly happened there.”

Qureshi pointed to irresponsible statements from India’s defence minister. “You should not have any doubts over their aims and intentions,” he said.

“A very clear message (is being conveyed) that Pakistan’s political and military leadership are not only ready, they are 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.

“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,” said a notification from the office of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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