ISLAMABAD: Former commander of the 111-Brigade, Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, has been appointed as Director-General, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
Maj Gen Bajwa, who replaces Maj Gen Athar Abbas, is a well known and highly-respected soldier with rich experience as a former combat commander.Bajwa has been moved to the media side after his successful bid as a combat commander in Wana. He has past experience of assisting his boss, the then President General Pervez Musharraf, in compiling his much-touted book -- In The Line of Fire -- as his staff officer.
Bajwa, along with more than half a dozen two-star generals, got new postings in the first round of reshuffle in the Pakistan Army on Friday.Military sources say the second round of reshuffle, postings and transfers with the promotion of at least four top major generals to the rank of lieutenant generals would take place most probably next week. At least there are four positions of three-star generals and the army chief would soon make the appointments in the second round.
The present reshuffle/postings is largely confined to on-job general officers with three most significant new postings including Maj Gen Bajwa’s appointment as DG ISPR.“We wish him all the best,” said one of Bajwa’s colleagues, who saw him growing first as AMS to President General Musharraf and then commander 111-Brigade, and after his promotion to the rank of major general leading the successful combat campaign in Wana in the tribal belt where he flushed out militants and terrorists.
Bajwa’s predecessor, articulate and soft-spoken Maj Gen Athar Abbas, would be retiring from the army after handing over the charge of DG ISPR to his successor. His tenure in the ISPR was a mixed one, though he was often found shy in holding frank and open talk with journalists, except a few select ones during all the critical years when the Pakistan Army moved in the tribal belt to teach a lesson to the fleeing militants and terrorists. He was regarded highly among his colleagues.
The second significant change is that of Maj Gen Ghayyar Mehmood, who has been appointed to all the important position of Inspector-General Frontier Corps in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Until now, he was the VMS after having served in Wana some time back. People attach great hopes with Maj Gen Ghayyar to deal with the militants and terrorism in the KPK as an experienced soldier. He replaces Maj Gen Nadir Zeb, now posted to less significant position of DG HRD.
Military sources say on his promotion as Lieutenant General Nasir Nawaz Janjua, VCGS, would be posted out and in his place one of the capable major generals would be appointed in the next round.As Commandant Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Maj Gen Mazhar Jamil, has been appointed as VCGS (A), Maj Gen Sadiq Ali, GOC 1 Armoured Division has been shifted to succeed Maj Gen Mazhar Jamil as Commandant PMA.
Maj Gen Obaid Zikria, DGMP, has been appointed as Commandant EME College, and Maj Gen Tariq Jawaid, DG DESTO, is shifted as Vice Chief of Logistic Stocks (VCLS). Maj Gen Farrukh Bashir, GOC SSG, has been sent as Commandant DSG, while Maj Gen Sajjad Ali, GOC 14 Div, has been appointed as DG Qtg & Land. Maj Gen Hidayatur Rehman, COS SC, has been made GOC 14 Div, Maj Gen M Asif, DDG ISI (Bln) has sent as Commandant Log Area Gujranwala.
Brig M Junaid ITD has been appointed as DG DESTO, and Brig Umar Farooq Durrani, COS 30 Corps, has been appointed as to GOC 1 of the Armoured Division.