In a sudden move which surprised many political and military observers of Indian sub-continent, former Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief Lt Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa (Retd) has been appointed as the new Special Assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Notably, Bajwa will be replacing Firdous Ashiq Awan who was serving as the information advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister. Moreover, Awan has also been removed from the post of Federal Information Minister. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shibli Faraz has been named his replacement.
Who is Lt. Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa?
Lt. Gen Bajwa was commissioned in the Pakistani Army in 1984 and was attached with 34th Punjab Regiment at the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in Kakul. Bajwa graduated from the Command and Staff College in Quetta and also the National Defence University (NDU) in Islamabad. The officer also holds master's degrees in war studies from NDU and defence studies from King's College London.
Bajwa has held multiple instructional and command-level posts including leading an anti-tank battalion, the 111th Infantry Brigade, and an infantry division. As per reports in Pakistani media, Bajwa had a cordial relationship with former Army Chief General Parvez Musharraf which helped him in his military career. He was appointed as the director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations. His military career also handed him post-retirement responsibilities as he was appointed as Chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority for a four-year period.
As per a report in the Print, the reason attributed to the sacking of Firdous Ashiq Awan was his "self-promotion". However, the Indian establishment is of the opinion that this is just another intervention from the Pakistani Army which is the de facto centre of power in the country.