Outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa that an “apolitical” military will strengthen democracy and the State.
Bajwa made the comments while speaking to Gulf News. “We have restricted the army’s role to its constitutional mandated task only by deciding to make it ‘apolitical’. This decision, though being viewed negatively by a segment of society and led to personal criticism, will facilitate in reinvigorating and strengthening democratic culture, assist in supporting state organs to effectively perform and deliver.” This, the outgoing COAS said, will also complement the force’s standing in the long run. “Above all, this decision will help enhance army’s prestige in the long term.”
The resolve to remain apolitical, he said, will continue unchanged despite the proliferation of “false narratives” and what he termed “undue vilification” of the armed forces. “Despite some criticism and undue vilification of the armed forces through mass propaganda and meticulously crafted false narratives, the institutional resolve to remain apolitical will remain steadfast. I am certain that this political quarantine of the armed forces will auger well for Pakistan in the long term…”
The outgoing COAS also shed light on the nation’s critical ties with Arab states and how military diplomacy was a complement to Pakistan’s foreign policy. The ties, he said, went beyond an cost-benefit analysis. “Pakistan enjoys a special bond and fraternal ties with GCC and other Middle Eastern countries, which is deep-rooted in our strong religious, historical and cultural affinity. Our traditional ties with brotherly Arab states transcend beyond any cost-benefit calculus.”