General Qamar Javed Bajwa is the 10th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army.
A four-star general, he was appointed to army chief on 29 November 2016 by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. General Bajwa replaced General Raheel Sharif as army chief.
Qamar Javed Bajwa was born in Karachi on 11 November, 1960. He belongs to a Punjabi Jat family originally from Ghakkar Mandi. His father, Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Iqbal Bajwa, was also an army officer who died while in service in 1967.
General Bajwa is the youngest of 5 siblings, and they were raised by their mother. Qamar Bajwa went on to be educated at the Sir Syed College and Gordon College in Rawalpindi. He joined the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in 1978. General Bajwa passed out from the PMA with 62nd PMA Long Course.
Bajwa is a graduate of Command and Staff in Canada and later attended and secured his graduation from the Naval Postgraduate College in Monterey, California, United states. He also attended the National Defence University in Islamabad. General Bajwa is married to Ayesha. His father-in-law Major-General (R) Ijaz Amjad also served in the Pakistan Army. He has two sons, Saad and Ali.
Qamar Bajwa was commissioned as Lieutenant on 24 October 1980 in the 16th Baloch Regiment at the Sialkot Cantonment – the same unit that his father commanded.
As a Major in 1992, Bajwa briefly served in the 5th Northern Light Infantry Regiment in Kashmir. As Lieutenant-Colonel Bajwa served in the X Corps, stationed in Rawalpindi, as a staff officer. Upon being promoted to Brigadier Bajwa served as the Chief of Staff (COS) at the X Corps. He was later promoted to Major-General and commanded a division in Northern Pakistan.
In 2007, Brig. Bajwa commanded the Pakistan Armed Forces-Africa Command, attached to the UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO, in CongoBrig. Bajwa served in the Congo as a brigade commander under then Major General Bikram Singh, the former Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army from 2012–14. Gen. Singh later termed Bajwa’s performance there as “professional and outstanding.”
In May 2009 after being promoted to Major-General, Bajwa took over the command of the Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA) stationed in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
In August 2011, he received the Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), and posted as an instructor at the School of Infantry and Tactics in Quetta. He later taught a staff course at Command and Staff College in Quetta, and a course on national security at the National Defence University.
On 14 August 2013, Bajwa was promoted to Lieutenant-General and posted as field commander of the X Corps, stationed in Rawalpindi. He was appointed as Grade-I officer during his tenure as field commander of the X Corps. This was a notable assignment as the X Corps is the army’s most important and largest corps, tasked with keeping control over the situation in Kashmir.
In 2014, Lt-Gen. Bajwa was appointed as Colonel Commandant of Baloch Regiment.
On 22 September 2015, Lt-Gen. Bajwa was posted in the Army GHQ and appointed as the Inspector-General of the Training and Evaluation (IGT&E). During this time he was also the Principal Staff Officer to then-Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif.
Chief of Army Staff
General Raheel Sharif decided not to seek an extension in 2016. General Bajwa was initially not considered a candidate for army chief as there were 3 generals ahead of him in the seniority list including Gen. Zubair Hayat, Lt-Gen. Javed Ramday, and Lt.-Gen. Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad.
On 28 November 2016, Prime Minister Sharif that General Qamar Javed Bajwa would be the Chief of Army Staff.
It has been suggested that Bajwa’s pro-democracy stance and views may have influenced his appointment as army chief. Reuters Pakistan reported that Prime Minister Sharif picked Bajwa because of his low-key style.
Gen. Bajwa is known to have a sound understanding of Indian strategic ambitions in the region and experience of armed conflict on LoC in Kashmir. In December 2016, he was awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz.
Gen. Bajwa’s command has focused on nationwide counterterrorism operations with the Khyber-4 operation launched in February 2017 and July 2017, respectively.