Pakistan Army has been in a predicament since last few weeks after present Chief of Army staff, General Bajwa’s 3 year extension was cancelled by the supreme court of the country, and one of the ex-military ruler of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, was sentenced to death after he was found guilty of treason.
Adding to Pakistani Army’s woes is a stand-off between myriads of its senior level officers and the present chief of Army staff, General Bajwa. In August last year, Prime Minster of Pakistan, Imran Khan, and later the President of Pakistan approved a 3 years long extension for Gen Bajwa. This decision struck the senior officers in the establishment like a thunderbolt as in next 3 years approximately 24 Lt Gens would have retired with none of them getting an opportunity to be the chief. The move was countered by Lt Gen Safraz, who was the senior most officer in service after Gen Bajwa. Him and six other disgruntled senior officers joined hands with Supreme court Chief justice to block extension of the present chief, Gen Bajwa. The final verdict from the Supreme court whittled down Bajwa’s 3 years long extension to mere 6 months. But Lt Gen Sarfraz had to bear the brunt of being a dissident– he along with his family members have been under house arrest since then. This happened despite Lt Gen Sarfraz having resigned from the service on November 26.
Pakistan Army has been going through a tumultuous time as its officers at different levels have started to buckle under pressure with the bone of contention being Gen Bajwa’s extension. Lt Sarfraz has been superseded by Lt Gen Nadeem Raza, who was very recently awarded with Nishan-e-imtiaz by the President of Pakistan. Ostensibly, Raza could take over as the next Chief of Army staff from Gen Bajwa, as in the past he had been the Chief of General staff and headed the intelligence and operations.
Dousing the fire of dissent within the establishment has been a herculean task for both Gen Bajwa and Imran Khan, PM of Pakistan, after news of Sarfraz Sattar’s house arrest began doing rounds.None of the above augurs well for the populace of Pakistan as the country has already been on tenterhooks due to poor performance of its economy and FATF (Financial Action Task Force) putting Pakistan on grey list due to surge in terrorist activities on its soil.