General Raheel Sharif has passed the “Baton of Succession”, the “Malacca Cane” or “Stick of Command” to new Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The succession ceremony where General Raheel Sharif handed over the Command Stick to General Qamar Javed Bajwa was held today at Hockey Ground in General Head Quarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi. General Bajwa took the charge in a formal handover as 16th COAS of world’s sixth largest army in terms of troop numbers.
Military Bands marched in the beginning of ceremony and presented the tunes of patriotic songs. The event was attended by senior heads of the armed forces, top civil-military leadership and other local and foreign delegations. Former Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and current Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Zubair Mehmood Hayat were also present at the Succession of Baton Ceremony.
General Raheel Sharif observed the guard of honour for his devotion and outstanding achievements in war against terrorism and services for Pakistan. General Qamar Javed Bajwa has replaced General Raheel Sharif after his three-years term came to an end. Earlier today, General Raheel Sharif also laid a wreath at Martyrs’ Memorial (Yadgar-e-Shuhada) while former and new COAS also observed another guard of honour.
Addressing the ceremony, General Raheel Sharif said that the Indian aggression has prevailed the uncertainty situation in the region. He once again made it clear to India that Pakistan Army’s policy of patience should not at all be taken as the sign of weakness, doing so would be dangerous for itself.
General Raheel Sharif stated that he has always given Pakistan the priority before taking any decision as COAS. Pak Army has worked hard along with the officials of Rangers, FC and Police to maintain and promote peace in the country, he added.
He also paid tribute to the martyrs of Pakistan Armed Forces and their families and said that Pakistan Army’s successes are incomplete without these people. He also highlighted that Kashmir dispute and quoted that it is important to resolve the Kashmir conflict as soon as possible.
General Raheel Sharif, the most popular Army Chief of Pakistan, also said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is important for regional peace and development of country. He also added that Pakistan is yet facing several challenges but by the grace of Almighty Allah, Pakistan Army will be able to face them with courage and dignity. He stated that we have to eliminate terrorism from the country and all internal threats so that National Action Plan (NAP) could be fully implemented to achieve that goal.
At the end, General Raheel Sharif thanked Pakistan Army for trusting his leadership and for having faith in him during his entire tenure. He also praised the entire Pakistani nation and media for supporting him throughout his reign as Chief of Army Staff. General Raheel Sharif also told that General Qamar Javed Bajwa is a strong decision maker who now will lead the command of Pakistan Army.
Soon after taking the charge of Pakistan Army in Change of Command Ceremony at GHQ, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that everything will be alright at Line of Control (LoC). In an informal interaction with media representatives General Bajwa lauded the role of media’s contribution towards keeping the morale high of nation and Pakistan’s Armed Forces.
He also hoped that media will continue with its positive contributions in this regard. General Qamar Javed Bajwa also thanked General Raheel Sharif for praising his professionalism and extending good wishes for his upcoming tenure.