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Focus to remain on India border, says Pak

With its new army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa set to take charge, Pakistan has asserted that focus will remain on country’s eastern border with India, even as the US nudged Islamabad to keep the pledge of not allowing use of its soil for terror attacks against neighbours.

Bajwa will take charge of the world’s sixth-largest army by troop numbers from Pakistan’s outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, who paid farewell visits to President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here on Monday.

Sharif and Hussain lauded Raheel’s valuable service as army chief and wished him the best for his post-retirement life, Radio Pakistan reported.

“The military policy will continue and there will be no immediate change in it (under Bajwa),” Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said.

“The focus will remain on country’s eastern border and the armed forces backed by the nation will meet all challenges,” he said. The Defence Minister expressed hope that the government and military leadership will continue to work together for the betterment of the country.

General Raheel will become the first army chief in more than 20 years to step down at the end of his term. Previous army chiefs have either obtained extensions or in the case of General Pervez Musharraf, staged a coup.

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