On Friday, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said that he will not be asking for another term extension and that the military has decided to stay out of politics.
During his speech at the 24th National Security Workshop in Islamabad, the army commander made the comments. The COAS reportedly remarked that the army has opted to continue remaining “apolitical” to media representatives present at the session.
Gen. Bajwa addressed the attendees of the security workshop on numerous threats to the country’s security and countermeasures. He asserted that development depends on national unity and a coordinated effort to protect and advance Pakistan’s national interests.
“Pakistan has endured numerous difficulties but has always prevailed. One such example is the war against terrorism, which was only successful because it involved the entire country, the COAS emphasised.
The army chief emphasised that establishing the rule of law and the authority of the state is necessary for achieving peace and stability.
On November 29, the COAS will retire, and he won’t ask to keep his job. Imran Khan, the former prime minister, extended Gen. Bajwa’s contract by three years in November 2019 and cited the regional security environment and difficulties as justification.
Announcing its decision in the Toshakhana (gift depository) reference, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) banned PTI chairman Imran Khan on the same day that Gen. Bajwa made his statement.
His words echo similar ones he made earlier this month when he reassured the country that the military had removed itself from politics and wished to maintain that distance.
The COAS reaffirmed his prior promise to leave office after his second three-year term ends in November during a luncheon held at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, DC, emphasising that he would keep his word.
Those present claim that the COAS spoke to the group before lunch and then chatted with the visitors informally afterward. He emphasised that revitalising Pakistan’s weakened economy should be everyone’s top focus because the country cannot fulfil its objectives without a strong economy.