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28 Nov 2016

New Pak Army Chief Bajwa: Why should India be careful?

General Qamar Javed Bajwa emerged as the successor of General Raheel Sharif as the Pakistani Army Chief.

Whether the situation under Bajwa would be the same as it was under Sharif remains to be seen while the LoC remained calm even after the Indian Army destroyed 15 Pak Army posts recently.

Will the Pakistani Army's hostility towards India continue despite the change in guard?

In context

General Qamar Bajwa: Pakistan's next Army Chief

General Bajwa handled Kashmir extensively

"General Bajwa is well-versed with the complexities, nature of operations and terrain along the LoC. He has also handled Kashmir extensively during his career. But it's too premature to say anything. Both Generals Pervez Musharraf and Kayani proved different from what their initial assessments were."

General Bajwa

Wait-and-watch how Bajwa conducts himself: Former Indian Army Chief

Gen. Sharif was perceived to be "extremely hostile" to India; he lost his brother in the 1971 war with India and uncle in the 1965 war.

But nothing much can be predicted about Sharif's successor Bajwa.

Former Indian Army Chief Gen. Bikram Singh, under whom Bajwa served as a brigade commander in the 2007 UN Congo peacekeeping operations, said it is important to "wait-and-watch".

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Gen. Bikram Singh's statement

"In the UN operations, Gen. Bajwa's performance was totally professional and outstanding. But a military officer's conduct in the international environment is different from the way he conducts himself back home. There, he is governed by his country's national interests."

Kashmir experience

Bajwa's experience in Kashmir worked in his favor

Despite not being the senior most among others in the race, Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa was appointed as Pakistan's next army chief.

His experience in Kashmir as a commander of several troops in the region might have worked in his favor.

His appointment comes amid the deteriorating military-civilian relations in Pakistan and escalating Indo-Pak tensions along the Line of Control.

Old Kashmir hand

Bajwa: First hand experience in Kashmir

Gen. Bajwa commanded the Rawalpindi-based X Corps, the largest and most influential force responsible for operations along the LoC.

Senior Indian Army officials said Bajwa is an "Old Kashmir hand with first-hand experience" of the aspects related to Kashmir and the LoC.

They said it was too early to decide whether Bajwa would carry forward his predecessors' legacy or evolve one of his own.

India should be "careful": Gen Bikram Singh

"There might be great bonhomie when the goal is world peace under UN mandate, but things change once you go back to your country. This is because your national interest comes first. I do not see any change (in Pak military policy after Bajwa's appointment)."

Pak's strategy

Pakistan's policy towards India

Gen. Bikram Singh said Bajwa is acquainted with Pak's policy towards India; there might be no moderation in Pak army's Kashmir policy and "confrontationist attitude".

Also, several international South Asia experts expressed similar views.

However, Pak army remains incensed over India's surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

Given the Pak Army-ISI's "pathological obsession" with India, the strategy to bleed India might continue.

Pak: No change in policy under new Army Chief

28 Nov 2016

Pak: No change in policy under new Army Chief

Pakistan's Defence minister Khawaja Asif clarified that Pakistan's "military policy will continue and there will be no immediate change," under the new Army Chief Qamar Bajwa.

His appointment may open the way for diplomacy as Nawaz Sharif's Foreign Policy Adviser Sartaj Aziz visits India next week.

Aziz is expected to meet VK Singh and MJ Akbar; he may also call upon NSA Ajit Doval.

07 Dec 2016

Pakistan's new army chief meets Sharif

Pakistan's new Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa held discussions with President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on national security matters.

The President appraised him of ongoing operations and advised him to continue on the path set by former army chief Raheel Sharif.

The President's office stated that Bajwa would meet the nation's expectations for Pakistan's defence.

12 Dec 2016

Pak's Army chief Bajwa removes ISI chief

Pakistan's new army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa abruptly removed ISI Chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar; Bajwa did not name his replacement.

Akhtar was named president of the National Defence University; Bajwa also made several other significant changes in the army's top brass, as part of a reshuffle.

It is unclear how the changes would affect Pakistan's stand toward India.

13 Dec 2016

New ISI chief seeks to break Indo-Afghan ties

Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, the new chief of Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI is allegedly looking to scuttle Indo-Afghan relations.

Sources revealed that in his thesis, 'Afghanistan -- Alternative futures and their implications' written at the US Army War College, Mukhtar speaks of taking 'aggressive measures' to undermine India.

It is the first glimpse into his possible strategies as the new ISI chief.

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