Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was something of a dark horse in this race for the post of COAS. He is currently serving at the GHQ as Inspector General of Training and Evaluation — the position Gen Sharif held before becoming army chief — he has commanded the 10 Corps, the army’s largest, which is responsible for the area along the Line of Control (LoC).
Lt Gen Bajwa has extensive experience of handling affairs in Kashmir and the northern areas of the country. As a major general, he led the Force Command Northern Areas. He also served in the 10 Corps as lieutenant colonel, where he was GSO.
Despite his extensive involvement with Kashmir and northern areas, he is said to consider extremism a bigger threat for the country than India.
Lt Gen Bajwa has served with a UN mission in Congo as a brigade commander alongside former Indian army chief Gen Bikram Singh, who was also there as a division commander.
He has previously also remained the commandant of the Infantry School in Quetta.
His military colleagues say he is not attention-seeking and remains well-connected with his troops.
“He is extremely professional, but very easy-going and full of compassion,” an officer who had served under him said, adding that he was not protocol-minded either. Gen Bajwa is also said to be an apolitical person without any biases.
He is from the infantry’s Baloch Regiment, which has given three officers to the post of army chief — Gen Yahya Khan, Gen Aslam Beg and Gen Kayani.