ISLAMABAD - Just under a year after his elevation as the army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is about to complete his first major round of critical military postings and appointments. Given the way the army system works, a Chief off Army Staff typically takes a year to settle in the job completely, shuffle the deck according to his preferences and firmly move in the desired policy directions.

The postings announced last week throw an interesting light on how Gen Bajwa has started to arrange his cards.

The appointment of Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa as the Corps Commander Southern Command came as a surprise to some – and is being viewed as a comeback for the former head of ISPR, the media wing of the military. To his credit, Lt Gen Bajwa, an assertive and dynamic officer with a sharp initiative taking reputation, had completely transformed the military’s media wing into a slick and efficient machine. He was known to be the most trusted aide and confidante of former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif. However, he gained the confidence of the new army chief within a short time also; his posting signifies the trust the army chief has placed in him.

Balochistan is a very challenging environment given the multidimensional challenges and attempts to create inroads not only by ISIS, the global terror group, but also by hostile foreign intelligence agencies. In recent years, one of the functions of the Commander Southern Command is also to act as a face of the military in the region, and Lt Gen Bajwa is best suited for that role. He is expected to use his diverse experience to showcase the work being done and successes achieved by the military in the province.

Lt Gen Aamer Riaz has been posted as Corps Commander Lahore. The swashbuckling Lt Gen Riaz is a popular figure within the military circles. He was born and raised in Lahore and known for being assertive and dominating. He is also an articulate speaker and very vocal about politics and politicians. It is interesting that he wasn’t recalled to the GHQ after commanding a corps. There is an impression that the personality type of Lt Gen Riaz was not tailored for the three positions in the GHQ—Chief of General Staff, Military Secretary, and Adjutant General.

Some have speculated that Lt Gen Riaz’s posting to Lahore is an indication of continued pressure on the ruling political party within the province. It remains to be seen as to how the flamboyant and dominating personalities of both Lt Gen Riaz and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif get along with one another. However, on the operational side, it is the Punjab Rangers that play a more direct and visible role in the province regarding law and order.

Lt Gen Riaz’s predecessor Lt Gen Sadiq Ali is an officer of decent and dignified repute. Lt Gen Ali has now been posted as IG Arms at the GHQ.

The three generals mentioned above retire before the term of the army chief and, therefore, are not in the contention for the next army chief.

Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar has been appointed as the head of the extremely important Strategic Plans Division, which serves as the secretariat of the National Command Authority and oversees the country’s nuclear program and its safeguards. It is a position usually given to gunners, but an exception has been made this time. Lt Gen Sattar’s career trajectory has had interesting exceptions in the past. As a Major General, he served as DG Military Intelligence and GOC Sialkot but waited for quite some time for a posting after his sudden nomination as Lt General.

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posting signifies the trust the army chief has placed in him.

Balochistan is a very challenging environment given the multidimensional challenges and attempts to create inroads not only by ISIS, the global terror group, but also by hostile foreign intelligence agencies. In recent years, one of the functions of the Commander Southern Command is also to act as a face of the military in the region, and Lt Gen Bajwa is best suited for that role. He is expected to use his diverse experience to showcase the work being done and successes achieved by the military in the province.

Lt Gen Aamer Riaz has been posted as Corps Commander Lahore. The swashbuckling Lt Gen Riaz is a popular figure within the military circles. He was born and raised in Lahore and known for being assertive and dominating. He is also an articulate speaker and very vocal about politics and politicians. It is interesting that he wasn’t recalled to the GHQ after commanding a corps. There is an impression that the personality type of Lt Gen Riaz was not tailored for the three positions in the GHQ—Chief of General Staff, Military Secretary, and Adjutant General.

Some have speculated that Lt Gen Riaz’s posting to Lahore is an indication of continued pressure on the ruling political party within the province. It remains to be seen as to how the flamboyant and dominating personalities of both Lt Gen Riaz and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif get along with one another. However, on the operational side, it is the Punjab Rangers that play a more direct and visible role in the province regarding law and order.

Lt Gen Riaz’s predecessor Lt Gen Sadiq Ali is an officer of decent and dignified repute. Lt Gen Ali has now been posted as IG Arms at the GHQ.

The three generals mentioned above retire before the term of the army chief and, therefore, are not in the contention for the next army chief.

Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar has been appointed as the head of the extremely important Strategic Plans Division, which serves as the secretariat of the National Command Authority and oversees the country’s nuclear program and its safeguards. It is a position usually given to gunners, but an exception has been made this time. Lt Gen Sattar’s career trajectory has had interesting exceptions in the past. As a Major General, he served as DG Military Intelligence and GOC Sialkot but waited for quite some time for a posting after his sudden nomination as Lt General.