RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday took Charge as the 16th Chief of Army Staff (COAS) at an impressive change of command ceremony at army’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi.
The Outgoing COAS General Raheel Sharif handed over the traditional Malacca Cane to General Qamar Javed Bajwa symbolizing the change of command.
In his farewell address, General Raheel Sharif said that his every decision was motivated by national interests and priorities.
General Raheel said that he believed in stability and supremacy of institutions. He said that it was his efforts that all institutions work together for security and prosperity of the country.
The outgoing COAS thanked the entire nation, armed forces, Pakistan Rangers, Levies, security agencies and police for fully backing and supporting the mission to defend and secure the motherland.
General Raheel said that challenges of the country have not ended as the security situation of the region remains complicated. He said that there was need to remember sacrifices of our martyrs to stabilize the successes of the recent years.
Raheel Sharif said that it is need of the hour for the nation and the institutions to work in harmony towards off external threats. For this purpose, he added, internal weaknesses including criminality, extremism and corruption will have to be eradicated.
The outgoing COAS said that implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) would continue till realization of the goal of complete peace.
General Raheel said that India’s aggressive posture is a serious threat to the regional peace and security. He warned that it would be dangerous to construe Pakistan’s policy of restraint as its weakness.
The outgoing Army Chief said that there can’t be durable peace and progress in South Asia without resolution of the Kashmir dispute. This requires special attention of the international community, he said.
Referring to Pakistan’s sincere desire to see durable peace in neighbouring Afghanistan, General Raheel Sharif called for role of regional countries and political reconciliation for resolution of the issue.
General Raheel Sharif said that Pakistan Army fought successful war against terror giving a new hope for peace to people of Pakistan and the region.
The Change of Command of COAS Ceremony held at Army Hockey Stadium was attended amongst others by Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, members of the Federal Cabinet, Services Chiefs, former services chiefs, parliamentarians and senior civil and military officials.
The military band presented tunes of folk and national songs for the amusement of the audience which also included foreign dignitaries.