Kh Asif, Khursheed, Marriyum, Shah Mehmood, Siraj, Sheikh Rashid, Sherry,
Yousaf Gilani, Tahirul Qadri, Mushahidullah, Tareen, Shahi Syed,
Farooq Sattar and Zahid Khan greet new appointees
LAHORE: The national political leadership on Saturday welcomed the appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the new Army Chief and General Zubair Hayat as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
Some extended their best wishes while others spoke of the challenges for the new commander ahead.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said five names were recommended to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and he appointed Gen Bajwa as the new COAS after consultation.
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah hoped that Qamar Javed Bajwa would follow in the footsteps of General Raheel Sharif. He said the nation’s prayers were with Gen Bajwa.
“The new army chief also has various challenges to face. People will remember Gen Raheel Sharif for his services for the institution as well as the country as a brave and thorough professional; he fulfilled his responsibilities very well,” he added.
“We welcome the new COAS and hail the decision which has been taken at a very important juncture,” said former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani while talking to The News.
MQM-Pakistan leader Farooq Sattar expressed the hope that General Bajwa will continue the policies of General Raheel Sharif to fight terrorism.
According to the ANP leader Zahid Khan, the border situation and tension with India would be a bigger challenge for the new army chief than terrorism.
Talking to The News, ANP’s leader Senator Shahi Syed paid tribute to Gen Raheel Sharif for his professionalism and said he not only boosted the morale of the army but also improved his own image as the army chief as well of his own family.
He said in the past generals had taken extensions and their decisions to continue as army chiefs had not earned them praise.
State Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday said the appointment of General Qamar Bajwa as Chief of the Army Chief (COAS) was a sagacious decision taken by the prime minister.
The minister, in a statement, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had selected General Raheel Sharif as the COAS who implemented his (PM’s) plans for the war against terrorism by undertaking the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the Karachi operation and the National Action Plan in a very effective manner.
Gen Bajwa, she hoped, would ensure continuation of the policies. “Today’s decision is a manifestation of the fact that the institutions are becoming strong and stable,” she added.
Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Senator Sirajul Haq greeted General Qamar Javed Bajwa on becoming the new army chief and General Zubair Hayat as Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. In a statement, he said good wishes of the entire nation and the JI were with the new leadership of the army.
He expressed the hope that the armed forces would continue their policies for wiping out terrorism, restoring peace in Karachi and combating the challenges posed by India.
JI’s Secretary General Liaquat Baloch also welcomed Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and said it was highly encouraging that an army chief was departing with grace and the new one was assuming his responsibilities under the law and the Constitution.
He expressed the hope that the new army chief would raise the image of the armed forces like General Raheel Sharif did and play a leading role in the defence of the country.
Vice Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the new army chief will have to face challenges from within and outside.
Different lawmakers agreed that the new army chief would play a vital role in boosting the Pakistan Army’s morale.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi felicitated General Qamar Javed Bajwa for his appointment as the COAS. He also congratulated Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat for becoming the CJCSC.
“Both the generals have been given important responsibilities at a time when there are serious security concerns due to the Indian aggression along the Line of Control,” he said.
“I personally know General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, as we worked together when I was the foreign minister,“ he recalled.
Awami Muslim League (AML) head Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed termed the appointment of Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as the new Chief of the Army Staff a good decision. “Yes, this is a good decision considering that seniority was taken into consideration,” Rasheed said.
“I hope it will prove to be a good appointment for Pakistan’s war against terrorism and security of the CPEC,” he said.
To a question, he said Zarb-e-Azb was not going to end anytime soon. “It is going to last longer than expected,” he said, adding that militants who fled the operation could regroup.
PPP leader Senator Sherry Rehman lamented the delay in the appointment of the new army chief by the government.
“First of all, let me state that this delay shouldn’t have happened, as it led to unnecessary confusion, speculations and rumors about the new army chief,” she said.
“But since it has been done, we welcome it. There should be an institutional transfer of power without any further hitch,” she said.
“We hope that General Qamar Javed Bajwa will deal with these responsibilities amicably due to his sound professional background and experience,” she said.
“I also feel that he will effectively confront the challenges, especially the border tension, due to the Indian provocation and ceasefire violations.
“And secondly the Foreign Office, which should be our first line of defence, continues to remain in a state of confusion. And our major concern is that this can create more vacuum,” she added.
Meanwhile, PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan and PTI leader Jehangir Tareen hailed the appointments of Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Lt Gen Zubair Hayat.
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