New Delhi, November 27 (Times of India/NIA): Although the Pakistani media have said that the newly appointed Pakistan army chief, Gen.Qamar Javed Bajwa, considers domestic terrorism as a greater danger to his country than India, most analysts in India believe that as the army chief of Pakistan, Gen.Bajwa is likely to be as hostile to India as his predecessors, including Gen.Raheel Sharif, who had taken on domestic terrorists in North Wazirtan with rare devotion.
According to Times of India it is not yet certain if Gen.Bajwa’s hostility to India will be as visceral as it was under Gen Sharif. In the last three days there has been relative calm along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir after the Indian Army pounded over 15 Pakistan army posts on Wednesday to exact revenge for an Indian soldier’s beheading and the two Directors Generals of Military Operations talked to each other.
“ Ge,.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 actually too premature to say anything. Both Generals Pervez Musharraf and Kayani proved different from what their initial assessments were,” a top Indian army officer told TOI.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has handpicked six army chiefs during his different stints as the country’s leader, selected Gen Pervez Musharraf in 1998 only to be ousted by him a year later and packed off to Saudi Arabia. Nawaz Sharif also did not enjoy a good rapport with General Raheel Sharif, who he had selected in 2013. At the end of his term, there was speculation that Gen.Sharif might be tempted to stage of coup when seen against the backdrop of a public demand that he be given an extension.
Gen,Sharif , who had projected himself as the savior of Pakistan and was widely regarded as one after he took on home-grown terrorists on the western front, was perceived to be extremely hostile to India. After all, his uncle was killed in the 1965 war and brother in the 1971 one with India.
Gen.Bajwa a “professional”
Former India army chief General Bikram Singh, under whom Gen Bajwa served as a brigade commander in the UN peace-keeping operations in Congo in 2007, said it’s important to “wait-and-watch” how Gen Bajwa conducts himself.
“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,” Gen Singh said.
“Gen Bajwa has commanded the important 10 Corps in Pakistan. So, he is acquainted with his country’s policy towards India. I believe there will be no let-up as far as Pakistan army’s Kashmir policy is concerned,” he added.
Several international South Asia experts echoed similar views. Asked about her opinion on the new Pakistan army chief Gen Bajwa, Georgetown University associate professor C Christine Fair tweeted, “Cut from the same cloth. It won’t make a difference.”