For Pakistani military commanders, it is not uncommon for more than one term, and it is not unexpected for General Qamar Javed Bajwa to extend for three years. In fact, I have been on the card for a while, it seems that the government’s announcement is just a form. A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office stated that a decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment. Interestingly, this news was exactly one year after the PTI government completed its administration.
The security situation may of course be a factor, but there seems to be other political reasons that may be more pressing behind this decision. Army commanders often extend their stay for themselves. But this is the second time the private government has made this decision.
A similar reason was given when the PPP government granted Ashfaq Kayani a second term in 2010. The situation may be different, but the political expediency seems to be the determining factor in both cases. When is the internal or external security environment in Pakistan not so dangerous?
There is no doubt that General Bajwa is the commander’s professionalism and ability. The recent crisis with India has been handled very well. In fact, the individual is important, but this institution is the most important. Pakistan’s military leaders often revolve around myths. So it’s not surprising that you listen to commentators on TV talk shows that General Bajwa is portrayed as a great vision.
The security situation may be a factor, but there are more direct reasons for delays.
Thanks to his virtues, he looks better than his predecessors. There is a lot of discussion about the “Bajwa Principles.” If a person wants to follow this so-called doctrine, then the military leader seems to have a great view of everything – from key political issues to economic and foreign policy. What these commentators have failed to understand is that the so-called Bajwa principle is more institutionalistic than one’s point of view.
Of course, due to the recent escalation of India, we are facing a serious external security situation, but we are not in a state of war. Given the institutional strength of the military, changing the command will not have a negative impact on our defense.
The timely transition of the military leadership strengthened the institution and improved its professionalism. No matter how capable, no one is essential. This is a lesson that Imran Khan learned. Decisions made for political reasons will have a negative impact on institutions and democratic processes.
This is also a political decision when the current prime minister chooses a black horse to get the desired position. Obviously, General Bajwa’s choice is based more on political factors than on any qualifications or merits, although his experience is unquestionable.
Perhaps the reason behind the decision is to have a person with civil rights. General Bajwa has a reputation as a simple officer, but he is very difficult. However, given the inherent complexity, no one expects him to be a good person.
The former prime minister was too simplistic and believed that the roots of civil and military tensions could disappear with the transition of military command. In the end, no matter who takes the lead, this institution has the upper hand. Every civilian government may tend to ignore this lesson.
Undoubtedly, the imbalance between the military and the civilians is the main source of political instability, which hinders the democratic process in the country. Despite three democratic changes, the size of the military is increasing. In fact, the PTI government has acted cautiously and tried to maintain a good working relationship with the general.
There is no doubt that senior officials of the PTI government have had many goodwill in the past. Of course, General Pagua is very effective in establishing this intimate relationship. Emerging management certainly needs the support of organizations that can provide breathing space. This may be the main reason for the extension of General Pagua.
In the first year of Imran Khan, populist public opinion was very obvious. A year later, the country became more politically polarized and unstable. The PTI government did not accept the country as promised. Democracy has shrunk and freedom of speech has been limited. As the governance crisis worsens, Imran Khan’s personal appeal and popular appeal are also decreasing.