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Armed forces to stay out of politics, says Pakistan Army chief Gen Bajwa


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army Commander General Qamar Javed Bajwa assured the nation that the armed forces have distanced themselves from politics and want to continue to do so, according to a media report Wednesday.
General Bajwa, who is currently in the US, also reiterated his promise to leave office after completing his second three-year term in November, adding that he will fulfill the pledge he made earlier, the Dawn newspaper news.
Army Chief of Staff (COAS) General Bajwa, 61, will retire on November 29. Bajwa has been extended for a second three-year term in 2019.
His remarks came at a luncheon held at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.
According to those who attended the event, Bajwa said that the armed forces had distanced themselves from politics and wanted to continue to do so, the newspaper reported.
These remarks come after former Prime Minister Imran Khan made anti-army statements.
Bajwa held the highest post of the Pakistani Army for six years. He was initially appointed in 2016, but after three years in office, the then government of Imran Khan in 2019 extended his mandate for another three years.
The appointment of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army is the sole prerogative of the prime minister. The upcoming appointment of a new Army General Director is causing a stir for all the wrong reasons.
When Khan took power, the opposition accused him of trying to bring in an army commander of his choice who could support his alleged agenda of victimizing opposition leaders. .
Since he lost power, the equation has changed and now Khan is saying that the coalition government wants to install a military chief of their choice to protect looted wealth and steal the general election. .
The powerful military, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its more than 75 years of existence, has so far wielded considerable power in foreign policy and security matters.
Bajwa also stressed that revitalizing Pakistan’s weakening economy should be a priority for everyone as the country will not be able to achieve its goals without a strong economy.
“There can be no diplomacy without a strong economy,” the army general said in a speech to an audience that included several Pakistani diplomats.

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