Army chief visits SSG headquarters, vows not to let stability be affected 'at any cost'

Published December 18, 2019
Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the headquarters of the military's SSG unit. — Screengrab
Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the headquarters of the military's SSG unit. — Screengrab

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday visited the headquarters of the military's Special Services Group (SSG), a tweet by the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The visit by the COAS comes a day after former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, who was from the SSG, was handed a death sentence in the high treason case.

Gen Bajwa during the visit lauded the contribution of SSG personnel towards the defence of the country.

“We have brought stability by failing all inimical forces operating against Pakistan. We shall never let it go away at any cost," the army chief was quoted as saying.

"SSG is our pride with myriad contributions towards defence of [the] country through its valiant officers and soldiers since the creation of Pakistan," Gen Bajwa added.

Musharraf served in the elite SSG from 1966-1972. During the 1971 war with India, Musharraf was a company commander of an SSG commando battalion.

A special court in Islamabad on Tuesday had awarded death sentence to the former military dictator in absentia for suspending the Constitution on November 3, 2007. It marked the first time in Pakistan's history that a former military chief was declared guilty of high treason and handed a death sentence. The verdict was split 2-1.

In a sharp and quick reaction to the ruling, the media wing of the armed forces had said: “The decision given by special court about General Pervez Musharraf, retired, has been received with lot of pain and anguish by rank and file of Pakistan armed forces. An ex-army chief, chairman joint chief of staff committee and President of Pakistan, who has served the country for over 40 years, fought wars for the defence of the country can surely never be a traitor.”

The statement by the DG ISPR had come after a meeting of the top military leadership was held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi in the wake of the judgement, according to sources.

“The due legal process seems to have been ignored including constitution of the special court, denial of fundamental right of self-defence, undertaking individual specific proceedings and concluding the case in haste,” it had added.

The ISPR had said the armed forces expected that justice would be dispensed in line with the Constitution.

Musharraf is currently in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. He was admitted to a hospital following deterioration of his health earlier this month. In a video statement from his hospital bed, he called the treason case "absolutely baseless”. “I have served my country for 10 years. I have fought for my country. This [treason] is the case in which I have not been heard and I have been victimised,” he had stated.

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