ISLAMABAD: Army Chief-designate General Qamar Bajwa will assume command of the Pakistan Army from General Raheel Sharif at a ceremony at the Army Hockey Stadium in Rawalpindi on Tuesday (today).
The outgoing army chief on Monday spent his last day in office completing a round of farewell meetings. The main activity at the General Headquarters ahead of Tuesday’s ceremony was the farewell corps commanders’ conference.
The conference was attended by COAS-designate Gen Bajwa, corps commanders and principal staff officers. According to the Inter Services Public Relations, they “paid rich tribute to General Raheel Sharif for his leadership and professional acumen and lauded his services for the country”.
Speaking at the conference, Gen Sharif thanked the commanders for assisting him in execution of his duties during his tenure. He also visited the ISI Headquarters in Islamabad to pay tribute to “the sacrifices and successes” of the spy agency “in fighting terrorism and strengthening the defence of the motherland”.
Gen Zubair Hayat takes over as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
The general had earlier visited military formations across the country. He had also paid farewell calls on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain.
In an unusual gesture, the US and Chinese embassies felicitated Army Chief-designate Gen Bajwa and new Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen Zubair Hayat on their appointment and complimented their predecessors Gen Sharif and Gen Rashad Mehmood.
“Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong sincerely wishes General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and General Qamar Javed Bajwa success and looks forward to greater development of cordial relations between the two countries and the two militaries between China and Pakistan during their tenure,” a statement from the Chinese embassy said.
The US embassy, meanwhile said: “We look forward to continuing our work with Pakistan’s elected leaders, with General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and with the Pakistani military to advance our shared counterinsurgency and counterterrorism goals for Pakistan and the region, and to enable Pakistani authorities to honour their pledge to prevent the use of Pakistan’s soil for terrorist attacks against its neighbours.”
Officers, soldiers, airmen and sailors assigned to the Joint Staff Headquarters welcomed Gen Zubair Hayat, the new chairman, at a simple ceremony on Monday. His predecessor Gen Rashad Mehmood was given a farewell on Friday.
Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2016
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