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General Qamar Bajawa and Nawaz Sharif Life Journey form 1980s

By Dr Shahid Qureshi: –

In 1980s, Nawaz Sharif was in Civil Defence Lahore because he loved to be in the uniform and position of power. Later applied for the post of Naib Tehsiladr to General Ghulam Gillani, Governor of Punjab. According to former Pakistani ambassador to US Abida Hussain: I saw a young man (Nawaz Sharif) with a box of sweets at the gates of Governor House waiting to be allowed in.

On the other hand current Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa was commissioned in 16 Baloch Regiment on 24 October 1980. The Regiment has produced three army chiefs in the past – General Yahya, General Aslam Baig and General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

Nawaz Sharif and Qamar-Javed Bajwa Army Chief
Nawaz Sharif and Qamar-Javed Bajwa Army Chief

Nawaz Sharif had no connection with the feudal elite. His family moved from Jati Umra near Amirtasr and by 1960 they owned a few modest size factories – iron foundry, ice making, and water pump factory. Somehow Mian Sharif managed to reach General Jill, as General Ghulam Jilani Governor of Punjab in General Zia’s regime. He requested General Jillani to give a break in politics to Nawaz Sharif. That is how he got into the military’s chicken farm and his factories started laying golden eggs. Nawaz Sharif was appointed as finance minister of Punjab in 1983.

In 1981 the family business group Ittefaq’s turnover was Rs.
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337 million, but by 1987 it had soared to at least Rs. 2,500 million, that is according to the group’s own accounts. Within four years Ittefaq had become one of the wealthiest private industrial groups in Pakistan.

According to a book, “Air Massacre over Bahawalpur” page 341, written by Commodore (Rtd) Tariq Majeed: “Nawaz Sharif’s Indian Connection: India’s RAW hosted Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Delhi in 1978 and cultivated him in some ways, but he had been picked up and programmed by RAW’s masters. What gives special significance and authenticity to this disclosure is that its author was a member of the key staff in ISI when Nawaz was being hooked by RAW”.

It is highly significant that when the Kargil crisis broke out both George Fernandez and K S Sudarshan, the former a socialist and India’s defence minister and the later leader of BJP militant wing RSS themselves exculpate Nawaz Sharif of any blame. If the Indians were trying to protect Nawaz Sharif, they must have had very good reasons to do so. It is this selfish and opportunist behaviour that made these leaders make decisions against the interests of Pakistani state? Take the example of US aid to Pakistan and kind of work these people agree to do in return. So India was saving its asset?

According to Asia Week, Rehman Malik current Interior minister and key holder of Zardari’s safe produced 200-page report of Mian Nawz Sharif’s corruption. The secret document was leaked to the London-based Observer newspaper published details of alleged corruption involving the MNS and his family.

What clinched the appointment for Nawaz Sharif as PM was a word to the presidency by the then ISI chief Lt. Gen Hamid Gull, that the army believed he was a better choice. General Hamid Gull now regrets his misjudgement. Subsequently the President also dismissed him. Nawaz Sharif’s problem was power: a pathological crass compounded by crass incompetence. Nawaz Sharif also seemed to be an ungrateful person. He did not feel any obligation towards president Ghulam Ishaq Khan, nor did he ever say ‘thank you’ to General Hamid Gull’. He did not even attend the funeral of General Hamid Gul who passed away recently.

Mian Sharif aka ‘Abbaji’ late father of Nawaz Sharif invited General Asif Nawaz to his Lahore residence. After a fatherly ‘tête-à-tête’, Abbaji told the new army chief that he was like his son and requested him to take his two sons Nawaz and Shabaz under his wings: and also told the ‘children’ that they must follow and never disregard the General Sahib’s advice. And one last thing Abbaji said to the General Sahib, as he came to see him out off at the porch of his house, ‘my both children have a Mercedes each, and here is the key to yours; you are like a son to me.’ It didn’t work with General Asif Nawaz, he felt offended and therefore, instead of being able to buy the General, Nawaz Sharif had instead lost his respect too. “I sent Ghaus Ali Shah to give a lift home to General Musharaf and inform him that he has been deposed in absence said Nawaz Sharif while addressing a meeting in Manchester in July 2007.

While Nawaz Sharif was minting millions, and multiplying his factories now General Qamar Javeed Bajwa was doing his studies and further studies as well as saluting dozens of times daily as well as moving from town to town to keep up the pace with professionals.

He is graduate of Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, (Toronto) Canada, Naval Post Graduate University, Monteray (California), USA, National Defence University, Islamabad.

He has been an instructor at School of Infantry and Tactics, Quetta, Command and Staff College, Quetta and NDU. He has also been Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade and Chief of Staff of Rawalpindi-based X Corps.

He has commanded 16 Baloch Regiment, an Infantry Brigade and has commanded Infantry Division in Northern Areas (Commander FCNA). He has also commanded Pakistan Contingent in Congo.

He has commanded Rawalpindi Corps, and was presently serving Inspector General Training and Evaluation at GHQ. Former Indian Army chief, General Bikram Singh, praised General Qamar Javed Bajwa as a ‘true professional’. In 2014, Bajwa, who was the then Corps Commander Rawalpindi, had said: “we have no threat from India, in fact we have threats from the extremist between us”.

While General Qamar Bajawa and his contemporaries were running around the country and abroad to learn soldering, and defending Pakistan, Sharifs become billionaires as well as made personal friends in the political elite around the world. Investing in politics is not bad business at all in Pakistan.

Majeed Nizami editor of the Nawa-e-waqat a closest ally of Nawaz Sharif had to remark that they used to regard Benazir Bhutto as a ‘security risk’, it seemed Nawaz Sharif was a greater security risk. He was indeed the worst thing that had happened to Pakistan since independence. Whether it was money, morals or security, the nation found it difficult to trust him.

It is just a glimpse as what a soldier has to do in his career and a so called politician like Nawaz Sharif.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He speaks at Cambridge University)

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