General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that the political quarantine of the army in Pakistan will prove fruitful for Pakistan in a long run, as he put an end to his six-year tenure as the most powerful person in the country on Tuesday.
"Despite some criticism and undue vilification of the armed forces through mass propaganda and meticulously crafted false narratives, the institutional resolve to remain apolitical will remain steadfast," Dawn quoted Bajwa as saying while he interviewed with the UAE-based publication, Gulf News.
Bajwa's remarks come as the military announced to remain apolitical after constant accusations of it being extremely involved in Pakistan's politics.
The speculations created over the appointment of Pakistan's new army chief came to rest after General Asim Munir and General Sahir Shamshad Mirza were notified as the next chief of army staff (COAS) and chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) respectively on November 24, Dawn reported.
Munir, who was to retire on November 27, two days before Bajwa completed an extended tenure of almost six years, was among six generals in the race for the top post -- a cause for much uncertainty and speculation till this week.
People familiar with the matter in Pakistan said Munir's reputation as a straight military officer who played by the book helped him clinch the post.
For the last month, Pakistan was literally paralysed administratively and economically because of the delay in the appointment of the army chief who is considered the most powerful personality with all political stakeholders dying for his blessings, Dawn reported.
Notably, Pakistan's military has directly ruled the country of 220 million people for nearly half of its 75-year history.
Gen Munir was promoted to the rank of a three-star general in September 2018, but he took charge two months later. As such, his four-year tenure as Lt Gen ends on November 27, around the same time when incumbent Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Nadeem Raza and Chief of Army Staff Gen Bajwa will be doffing their army uniform, reported Dawn.
Lt Gen Munir was later appointed Military Intelligence director general in early 2017, and in October next year was made the Inter-Services Intelligence chief, Dawn reported. (ANI)