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Pakistan Army Under Gen Bajwa; a different perspective

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Maintaining regular armed forces serves to ensure national security. Military groups are well-suited to activities such as nation-building as well as ensuring national security. The Pakistan Army has been engaged in nation-building since the country’s inception.  The Pakistan Army emerged from the chaos that accompanied the country’s independence in 1947 as the country’s most ordered and disciplined institution.

The Pakistan Army has a lengthy history of participating in national construction projects such as the Karakorum Highway, dam repairs, irrigation canal cleaning, censuses, and elections.

The nation-building tasks undertaken by the Pakistan Army can be broadly classified into four categories: infrastructure development, industrial development, disaster relief, and miscellaneous national tasks such as education system development, crisis management, and law and order maintenance.

Pakistan Army Contribution During Gen Bajwa’s Tenure 

General Qamar Javed Bajwa took over as the 16th Army Chief of the Pakistan Army on 29 November 2016. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has proved to be a true leader in every difficult time for the country. Whether it was a time of peace or war, he always stepped forward and played a leadership role. During his tenure, Pakistan crossed many important milestones.

As Chief of Army Staff, Qamar Javed Bajwa made it his mission to fully restore peace, and also shouldered the burden of impregnable national defense. The challenges were huge but the army chief accepted them with great pride, distinguishing himself with impressive initiatives. He proved himself person hav­ing real leadership qualities let it be the diplomatic front or military diplomacy. His suc­cessful approach to foreign and domestic policies was labelled as the “Bajwa’s Doctrine”.

Bajwa’s Doctrine 

The Bajwa’s Doctrine was established by the logical and sensible Gen. Qamar Bajwa and his equally skilled staff. It focuses on recognizing the changes occurring across the nation and modification in policies to meet the demands of the modern day. The command has decided that in order to strengthen the nation, the capacity of civil institutions including the police, civil services, and civil intelligence agencies needs to be increased.

The Bajwa Doctrine establishes Pakistan as a proud, peace-loving nation that seeks peaceful coexistence with the rest of the world rather than playing the part of a offensive neighbor trying to destabilize others.

However, if provoked, intimidated, or under pressure, it will display its full force to the enemy to demonstrate its unwavering devotion to the nation. The Bajwa’s Doctrine emphasizes domestic security and advocates completely eliminating terrorism in Pakistan. It is ensuring that terrorists won’t have any safe havens left.

CPEC Security 

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “We believe that under the leadership of General Bajwa, Pakistan Army will continue to make contributions to upholding Pakistan’s sovereignty and security interests and regional peace and stability. General Bajwa is an extraordinary leader of the Pakistan Army.” 

With projects like the CPEC, Pakistan’s connections with China have grown stronger over the years. The Pakistan Army, led by COAS Gen Bajwa, has played a key role in maintaining these strong connections by ensuring the security of CPEC and Chinese officials.

The FWO has provided the government with much-needed economic lever­age by providing security to the Chamalang coal mines, raising the special security division for the protection of CPEC routes, developing road infra­structure for CPEC, and assisting the government in the development and construction of much-needed dams at relatively low costs. The success of CPEC can also be attributed to the Army. The Special Communications Organization’s (SCO) efforts in northern Pakistan are also impressive, as it has provided much-needed support to CPEC projects and has persisted as the soft prong of diplomacy and nation-building activities.

Military Diplomacy 

Military diplomacy remains an unseen hand in national debate, but it offers the necessary and desired efforts wherever they are required. Pakistan’s military diplomacy has been characterized as “more action, fewer words” by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bestowed the King Abdul Aziz medal on him in June 2022. Jordan’s King Abdullah bestowed the order of military medal to him in October 2019. The Chinese Defense Minister recognized and complimented his efforts to promote regional peace and provide security for CPEC projects. In the Reko Diq case, his actions saved the government $11 billion. His efforts resulted in Pakistan’s removal off the FATF’s grey list in 2022. Under his guidance, we defeated a terrorist insurgency.

During his reign, the 2,600-kilometer border fence between Pakistan and Afghanistan was finished. And when successive administrations were falling all over themselves and each other in order to secure and/or retain power, it was Gen Bajwa who broke the ice each time and secured life-saving loans and grants, as well as promises of direct investment, from Gulf allies like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and others, to our more transactional friends like the US. Military diplomacy was critical in influencing international image, and military-to-military engagements prepared the path for international cricket to resume in Pakistan.

Floods in Pakistan 

When the worst floods in history hit Pakistan earlier this year, he was already at the forefront, ensuring that the military did all necessary to reduce the damage. He ensured that the army worked around the clock, even in ten feet of stagnant water, to provide relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

COVID-19 Support 

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in March 2020, the NCOC was formed to pool the resources of the civic and military apparatus. Under the direction of the COAS, the Pakistan Army was on the front lines of the fight against the epidemic. COVID-19 revealed the dire status of the health sector, but the NCOC was able to maintain competent systems to deal with the disaster. Local army corps collaborated with provincial administrations to implement COVID-19 rules and enforce lockdowns.

Appointment of New Chief; Indian Concern 

Following the Pulwama incident, COAS Gen Bajwa said that defending the motherland was the most sacred act and that the army was ready to perform its duty to safeguard the country’s boundaries. For India, the nomination of the new Pakistani army chief would be as significant as Pakistan’s next military strategy, which normally influences the country’s political decisions. India has suffered at the hands of the Pakistan army and its wing organizations, which have supported violence and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and other regions of the country. India will always be politically attentive to these prospects at the policy level in Pakistan, as there is a lot for Pakistan’s new army chief to deal with, particularly issues along the Line of Control and the International Border. India, Washington, DC, Russia, Riyadh, Beijing, and a number of other countries are closely monitoring events in Pakistan.

Conclusion 

In the era of fifth-generation warfare, poisonous propaganda is being used as a weapon to demoralize the Pakistani nation. Frequently, baseless reports are being published in foreign media; objectionable hashtags have emerged on social media and some politicians/analysts make irresponsible statements that damage the reputation of state institutions.

Those who doubt the integrity of the state forget that the Pakistan Army has had a long list of accomplishments under General Bajwa’s command. Not only have external forces’ aspirations been met in the past, but the process of suppressing anti-state groups is also proceeding well.

 

About Author:

Tahama Asad is a graduate of the National Defense University, Islamabad) The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Defense Insight’s editorial policy

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