General Bajwa takes charge as Pakistan’s 16th army chief
RAWALPINDI: Outgoing military chief General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday handed over the command of Pakistan army to the new Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in an impressive and dignified ceremony here.
He passed the baton of command to Gen Bajwa at a ceremony held in the Army Hockey Stadium.
Addressing the ceremony after reviewing the guard of honour, Gen Raheel Sharif stressed the need for strengthening all institutions and their supremacy and emphasised that all institutions work together for the security and prosperity of the country.
‘I believe in strengthening of institutions and their supremacy and I made efforts that all institutions should work for security and prosperity of the country’.
General Raheel Sharif said to deal with external threats, internal weaknesses like extremism will have will have to be wiped due and for this National Action Plan implementation is essential.
However, he said, ‘Our challenges are not yet over. We have made gains over the past year. It is necessary that we never forget the sacrifices of those who lost their lives… Our journey towards peace is still underway. Our destination is not far.’
‘I thank the federal government and political leadership for cooperating with us. I had the entire country’s cooperation, for which I thank the army and the nation,’ he said.
At the same time, he thanked the Pakistan Navy and Air force, and his counterparts of forces for their support, coordination and cooperation between armed forces which is an asset.
He said in recent months, India’s increasing terrorism and aggressive stance in IHK have endangered the region.
Gen Raheel Sharif warned India not to mistake Pakistan’s patience for weakness, otherwise it would prove dangerous for it. He said lasting peace is not possible without solution of Kashmir dispute for which international attention is needed.
For lasting peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan played a sincere role. For peace, this problem should be resolved politically. He said our efforts in this connection have been appreciated internationally and internally.
Gen Raheel Sharif said he is thankful to God Almighty for having been given the opportunity to command the world’s best army.
He also thanked the Armed Forces and the Pakistani nation for their resolve and support during every step of his journey.
‘I am absolutely certain the Pakistan Army will always fulfill the nation’s expectations,’ he said adding that Pakistan army is an iron wall for the defence of the country.
Lauding the efforts of the Armed Forces in the war against terror, Gen Raheel Sharif said the war has been successful and its results are evident today.
‘It is the need of the hour that the entire nation unites to counter the challenges Pakistan faces,’ the outgoing army chief said.
The outgoing COAS said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a great example of building peace and prosperity in the region.
‘The first CPEC shipment at Gwadar Port has proven that the country’s journey to progress cannot be stopped now,’ he said, adding that the enemies of CPEC should stop bashing the project and start benefiting from it.
Talking about Pakistan’s battle with terrorism he said that everyone has made sacrifices for the land.
‘We were able to change the face of history by fighting a war against terrorism,’ he added. He 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.
A military band kick started the ceremony with a number of patriotic tunes and General Raheel Sharif reviewed the guard of honour.
The ceremony was attended by Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif, Minister for State for Frontier Regions Qadir Bakhsh Baloch and Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Services Chiefs, serving and retired civil and military officers and defence attaches of a number of countries.
Before the ceremony, General Raheel laid a wreath at the Yadgar-i-Shuhada. INP