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In farewell meeting, PM Shehbaz thanks COAS Bajwa for tackling Pakistan’s ‘crises’

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  • Outgoing COAS holds farewell meetings with PM, president.
  • COAS Qamar Bajwa set to retire on November 29 (tomorrow).
  • PM Shehbaz commends his services in strengthening country.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday praised outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa for efficiently dealing with the ‘crises’ in the country during his six-year-long tenure.

COAS Bajwa is set to retire on November 29 (tomorrow) and will hand over the “baton of command” to Gen Asim Munir, who was appointed to succeed him last week.

As he gets ready to bid farewell to arms after serving as COAS from 2016-2022, General Bajwa met PM Shehbaz and President Arif Alvi today.

During the meeting, PM Shehbaz lauded the outgoing chief’s services for the Pakistan Army, national defence, and national interests, a statement from the PM’s Office read.

“The army, under the leadership of Gen Bajwa, has rendered exemplary services during various crises — including the removal of Pakistan from the FATF’s (Financial Action Task Force) grey list, coronavirus pandemic, and floods,” the prime minister said.

The armed forces crushed the menace of terrorism with valour and bravery under Gen Bajwa’s leadership, the premier said as he noted that he took charge as the army chief during “one of history’s toughest moments”.

“Gen Bajwa also played a key role in making Pakistan’s defence impregnable. [His] leadership in a complex regional situation set the direction for dealing with security challenges.”

The prime minister also appreciated the army chief’s services in terms of geo-economics as he noted that all political forces would have to sign on a “charter of the economy” to ensure that Pakistan becomes a strong economic force.

“You got the honour of leading the world’s best army,” the prime minister told COAS Bajwa.

In response, the outgoing chief thanked the prime minister for his full cooperation in the execution of national affairs. 

Before meeting the prime minister, the army chief paid a farewell call on President Dr Arif Alvi at the Aiwan-e-Sadar, a statement from the President’s Secretariat said.

President Arif Alvi (left) meets Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Aiwan-e-Sadar in Islamabad on November 28, 2022. — Presidents Secretariat
President Arif Alvi (left) meets Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Aiwan-e-Sadar in Islamabad on November 28, 2022. — President’s Secretariat

In the meeting, the president commended Gen Bajwa’s services in the field of defence and also appreciated his services to the country and the Pakistan Army.

The president expressed best wishes for Gen Bajwa in his future endeavours.

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The Pakistan Army’s pivotal role in the socioeconomic development of Balochistan

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Along with the province administration, the Pakistan Army has played a key role in leading a number of socioeconomic projects. A determined effort has been undertaken to solve the issues and utilise the potential of the province, realising the intrinsic relationship between the development of Balochistan and the advancement of Pakistan overall.

In the face of security problems, the Pakistan Army has adopted a multipronged strategy that includes peacekeeping as well as socioeconomic development. By means of focused awareness initiatives, communities have been motivated to seize mainstream chances, which has resulted in the voluntary surrender of militants and opened the door to a peaceful cohabitation.

The Army and the Balochistani administration have placed a high priority on the construction of educational facilities, particularly in outlying areas, recognising the role that education plays as a catalyst for advancement. By equipping the public with the knowledge and skills necessary for a better future, this strategic focus seeks to free the people from the hold of extremism.

In addition, the Pakistan Army’s unflinching security has helped to usher in a new era of growth, supported by strategic initiatives like the Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Army’s actions to protect CPEC projects have received international recognition, and the Chinese Minister of National Defence has praised them for their commitment to regional peace.

The Reko Diq project is a highly promising venture that has the potential to become the largest gold and copper mine globally. This grand project has the potential to reduce Pakistan’s debt load and spark massive economic expansion, drawing in international capital and improving the nation’s economic prospects.

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$13.44 billion in liquid foreign reserves

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The State Bank’s foreign reserves were $8,040.3 million, whereas Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the week ending April 5, 2024, were US$ 13,441.7 million.

The State Bank of Pakistan said that during the week under review, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $0.1 million to $8,040.3 million in a statement released here on Monday.

It further stated that commercial banks’ net foreign reserves were reported to be $5,401.4 million.

The nation’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the previous week, which concluded on March 29, 2024, were $13,378.9 million.

These included the $8,040.4 million in foreign reserves held by the central bank and the $5,338.5 million in net foreign reserves held by commercial banks.

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Today, IHC will hear Qureshi, the founder of PTI,’s arguments against his conviction in the CCI case.

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The PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will appeal their convictions in the cipher case to the Islamabad High Court today (Tuesday).

The hearing will be conducted by a division bench that consists of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Chief Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court.

The attorneys will present their arguments regarding the appeals against the sentencing during the hearing.

However, Bushra Bibi, the wife of the PTI founder, has filed a petition to have her medical examined, and this plea will also be heard today.

Bushra Bibi’s application will be considered by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The petitioner has voiced her concern that the food she was provided was toxic.

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