Qamar Javed Bajwa Wiki, Age, Caste, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

General Qamar Javed Bajwa

Qamar Javed Bajwa is a retired four-star general of the Pakistan Army who served as the 10th Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) from 2016 to 2022. He is one of the most prominent figures in Pakistan. He was mentioned in the Forbes list of the World’s Most Powerful People in 2018.

Wiki/Biography

Qamar Javed Bajwa was born on Friday, 11 November 1960 (age 63 years; as of 2023) in Karachi, Sindh Province, Pakistan. His zodiac sign is Scorpio. He completed his intermediate and secondary studies at the F. G. Sir Syed College and the Government Gordon College in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. In 1978, at 18, he was selected to join the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in Kakul, Abbottabad, where he underwent a military training module till 1980.

A photo of General Qamar Javed Bajwa taken when he was in the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA)

A photo of General Qamar Javed Bajwa taken when he was in the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA)

As a Pakistan Army officer, Bajwa has studied at various national and international institutes such as the Canadian Army Command and Staff College, the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, United States, and the National Defence University (NDU) in Islamabad. According to sources, Bajwa excelled in his studies in school as well as in the military.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 6′ 1″

Weight (approx.): 90 kg

Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper

Eye Colour: Dark Brown

General Qamar Javed Bajwa

Family & Caste

Qamar Javed Bajwa belongs to a Punjabi Jat Muslim family of the Bajwa clan in Gakhar Mandi, Punjab. [1]The Indian Express

Parents & Siblings

His father, Muhammad Iqbal Bajwa, served in the Pakistan Army as a colonel. He passed away in 1967 while he was posted in Quetta, Balochistan. His mother passed away in 2013 due to age-related causes. He has an elder brother who lives in the UK and works for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

A photo of General Bajwa taken with his mother

A photo of General Bajwa taken with his mother

Wife & Children

His wife’s name is Ayesha Amjad.

General Bajwa with Ayesha Amjad in his office

General Bajwa with Ayesha Amjad in his office

The couple has two sons, Saad Siddique Bajwa, and Ali Iqbal Bajwa. Saad is a lawyer and a businessman who has served as the legal counsel at Emirates. He is married to Mahnoor Sabir, who was named in the 2022 embezzlement case. Ali is a petroleum engineer and a corporate employee.

A photo of Saad Bajwa taken during his marriage ceremony

A photo of Saad Bajwa taken during his marriage ceremony

General Bajwa's son Ali Bajwa with his mother

General Bajwa’s son Ali Bajwa with his mother

Other Relatives

His father-in-law, Ijaz Amjad, was a major general in the Pakistan Army. His father-in-law’s brother, Iftikhar Khan Janjua, was a major general in the army who was killed in a chopper crash during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War.

A photo of Iftikhar Khan Janjua

A photo of Iftikhar Khan Janjua

Religion

Qamar Javed Bajwa follows Islam and belongs to the Sunni sect. Following his appointment as the COAS of the Pakistan Army, many people claimed that he belonged to the Ahmadiyya sect, which is considered a “non-Muslim minority sect” in Pakistan. According to the Constitution of Pakistan, any defence personnel who is not a Shia or a Sunni cannot hold the post of the Chief. [2]The Indian Express

General Bajwa reciting Namaaz during an event

General Bajwa reciting Namaaz during an event

Signature/Autograph

Signature of Qamar Javed Bajwa

Signature of Qamar Javed Bajwa

Career

Early Career

On 24 October 1980, Qamar Javed Bajwa completed his training at PMA (62nd Long Course) and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 16th Battalion of the Baloch Regiment. After commissioning, he was sent to Sialkot, where he served for a few years. In October 1981, Javed received a promotion and became a lieutenant. He became a captain in 1983. Following his promotion to major in November 1987, Bajwa was sent on a deputation to Kashmir. In 1992, he was posted to the 5th Battalion of the Northern Light Infantry (NLI). During his time with the 5 NLI on the Line of Control, he learned about the Indian Army and its strategies. He then participated in several discussions and wrote many articles about it. Later, he was posted to Rawalpindi, where he served as a Staff Officer (SO) in the X Corps.

A photo of General Bajwa with his wife and sons taken when he was a young major

A photo of General Bajwa with his wife and sons taken when he was a young major

In April 1997, Bajwa became a lieutenant colonel and served as the General Staff Officer (GSO) in the same corps. In September 2002, Bajwa was promoted to the rank of colonel following which he commanded a unit of the Baloch Regiment. In 2003, he was selected to be part of the Pakistani contingent in a United Nations (UN) mission to Africa. He went on to command the Pakistan Armed Forces-Africa Command in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

A photo of General Qamar Javed Bajwa taken when he was serving in the United Nations

A photo of General Qamar Javed Bajwa taken when he was serving in the United Nations

Bajwa became a brigadier in April 2004. He was then appointed as the commandant of the School of Infantry and Tactics in Quetta, Balochistan. He has also served as an instructor in the Command and Staff College in Quetta. In 2007, he was once again sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he served as the commander of a UN brigade under the former Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh. According to sources, Bikram Singh commended Bajwa’s ways of leading the soldiers and called him a “professional” commander. Singh said,

In the UN operations, Gen Bajwa’s performance was totally professional and outstanding. A military officer’s conduct in the international environment is different from the way he conducts himself back home. There, he is governed by his country’s national interests.”

A photo of General Bajwa with General Bikram Singh during his tenure in the UN

A photo of General Bajwa with General Bikram Singh during his tenure in the UN

In May 2009, Bajwa was appointed as a major general. Thereafter, he was sent to Gilgit-Baltistan, where he served as the commander of the Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA). He was then sent to Islamabad. There, he became an instructor at the National Defence University (NDU).

A photo Bajwa taken while he was serving as a Major General

A photo Bajwa taken while he was serving as a Major General

In August 2013, Bajwa became a lieutenant general after which he became the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of the Chaklala-based X Corps. This corps is one of the most vital fighting formations of the Pakistan Army as it is deployed on the Line of Control (LoC). During his tenure, the Corps took part in the 2013 and 2014 skirmishes with India, which resulted in many troops dead and wounded on both sides. In 2014, he was appointed as the Colonel Commandant of the Baloch Regiment. After completing his tenure as GOC X Corps in October 2015, Bajwa was sent to the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, where he served as Inspector General Training and Evaluation (IG T&E) till his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). As an IG, he also served as the Principal Staff Officer (PSO) of Raheel Sharif, the former Pakistan Army Chief.

Qamar Javed Bajwa with General Raheel Sharif while serving as the Commander of the X Corps

Qamar Javed Bajwa with General Raheel Sharif while serving as the Commander of the X Corps

Work As COAS

On 26 November 2016, the Government of Pakistan announced the appointment of Qamar Javed Bajwa as the 10th Army Chief of Pakistan. He reportedly took over the post by superseding four senior army officers. According to sources, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accepted his appointment due to Bajwa’s apolitical nature and pro-democracy views. Another reason behind his selection was cited as his ability to strike a balance between the civil and the military authorities.

A photo of Qamar Javed Bajwa taken while he was taking over as the COAS from General Raheel Sharif

A photo of Qamar Javed Bajwa taken while he was taking over as the COAS from General Raheel Sharif

Soon after he took over, two major militant attacks took place in Pakistan which resulted in the death and destruction of man and material. Under his leadership, the Pakistan Army launched two major counter-insurgency operations named Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad and Khyber-4 in 2017. He has always considered religious extremism as a threat to the peace and development of Pakistan. As an Army Chief, many countries, including the US, the UK, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, have invited him to address committees and military gatherings. As per sources, Bajwa managed to retain good ties with the US militarily when the inter-government ties between the two countries were at their lowest.

General Bajwa with General John Nicholson of the US Army

General Bajwa with General John Nicholson of the US Army

He also played an instrumental role in constructing a fence along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, also known as the Durand Line. For this, he met the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani.

General Bajwa with Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan

General Bajwa with Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan

In 2018, he visited China, where he met the Chinese authorities and conducted a discussion on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). During the discussion, Bajwa assured the Chinese that the project would not be impacted due to the political crisis and terrorism in the country.

A photo of General Bajwa taken in Beijing

A photo of General Bajwa taken in Beijing

In August 2019, Bajwa was set to retire; however, Prime Minister Imran Khan extended his tenure till 2022 citing a “National Emergency.” However, the Supreme Court of Pakistan put a stay on the extension and asked the Federal government to pass a bill in the parliament to extend Bajwa’s tenure.

A photo of the official notification issued by the Government of Pakistan on Bajwa's extension

A photo of the official notification issued by the Government of Pakistan on Bajwa’s extension

In April 2022, Bajwa, while addressing a conference in Islamabad claimed that due to faulty policies of the country, it had become overly dependent on China. In 2022, Bajwa reportedly held a secret meeting with the Indian National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval following which a ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) was put into effect. [3]Hindustan Times He retired from the service in November 2022 and was succeeded by General Asim Munir.

Qamar Javed interacting with the troops of the Pakistan Army deployed at the LOC

Qamar Javed interacting with the troops of the Pakistan Army deployed at the LOC

Criticism Received By Bajwa

In her book, Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army, Maria Rashid wrote that even though Bajwa worked well in certain areas, he did not address the divide in the Pakistan Army. She also claimed that the internal rift has also led to a downfall in the army’s credibility among the general public. In an interview, she said,

General Bajwa miscalculated and underestimated the cracks within his own establishment. He acted too late and also perhaps does not seem to have the stomach to ‘quash’ the rebellion within. For the first time perhaps, the cracks within the military, even though they existed before, are being filtered through the concerns of a mainstream political party, the PTI.”

It is also claimed by many sources that despite launching many anti-terrorist operations, the Pakistan Army, under his leadership, failed to contain terrorism and that terrorism increased manifold in the country.

The Bajwa Doctrine

Bajwa outlined several key military terms during the Munich Security Conference in February 2018. In his address, he talked about “biting back hard” against the threats posed by the then-Donald Trump-led US Government. Following the address, the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) gave this doctrine the name of the Bajwa Doctrine. In doctrine, he also talked about the creation of a stable democracy to eliminate terrorism, strengthening the law and order situation in Pakistan, working on uplifting Afghanistan to end cross-border terrorism, and amalgamating terrorists and militants into the society after their surrender. A second part of the doctrine was released in March 2021 during the Islamabad Security Dialogue. It focused on four themes: an enduring peace internal and external to Pakistan, non-interference in the internal affairs of neighbouring and regional countries, building intra-regional trade and connectivity, and bringing sustainable development via investment and economic hubs within the region.

A photo of General Bajwa taken in Munich, Germany, where he delivered a speech

A photo of General Bajwa taken in Munich, Germany, where he delivered a speech

Controversies

Allegations of Violating Official Secrets Act (OSA)

In 2023, Islamabad High Court issued a warrant against Bajwa, a senior Pakistan Army officer, and two journalists for violating OSA. According to sources, Bajwa gave an interview to two journalists after retirement in which he discussed the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan in 2022, civil-military relations, and the role of retired Pakistan military officers in politics. The petitioner claimed that a case for treason and inciting mutiny in the armed forces should be registered against Bajwa and the other accused. [4]DAWN

Allegations of Amassing Billions of Dollars of Net Worth as COAS

In 2022, a few weeks before Bajwa’s retirement, several tax documents of General Bajwa and his family members were leaked in the media. According to the reports, within six years of his tenure as the army chief, Bajwa’s family members, including his wife, son – Saad, Saad’s wife, and his father-in-law accumulated over Rs. 12 billion. The family reportedly invested and started numerous businesses in Pakistan and abroad. Bajwa also edited his IT returns thrice during his six-year-long tenure; whereas, an officer has to file ITR once before becoming a service chief. After the reports leaked, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar ordered an investigation into the circulation of the reports claiming it to be “violative of the complete confidentiality of tax information that the Law provides.” The media wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces, ISPR, also refuted the claims, calling the allegations false and baseless. [5]The Economic Times

Allegations of Masterminding A Journalist’s Murder

In 2022, the mother of a murdered journalist named Arshad Sharif wrote a letter to the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s Chief Justice, claiming senior Pakistan Army officers, including General Bajwa, played an active role in the murder of her son. She further said that earlier, Sharif shared a good bond with the Pakistan Army; however, after he began exposing the involvement of the Pakistan military in various issues, he began receiving warnings from the ISI. She wrote,

Sharif was close to the army, covering many of their operations against militants. He became critical of certain individuals in the army for their involvement in politics and forced disappearances. This is when he started receiving threats, first from Brigadier Muhammad Shafiq Malik of ISPR…and then from Brigadier Fahim Raza of ISI who called him to ISI Sector HQ Islamabad to convey the message of Major General Faisal Naseer, DG – C, ISI.”

The letter written by Sharif's mother to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan

The letter written by Sharif’s mother to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan

In total, 15 FIRs on sedition and treason were filed against Sharif in different parts of the country following which he fled the country to Nairobi, Kenya, where he was reportedly killed by the ISI. [6]South Asia Press

Allegations By A Retired Pakistan Army Major Adil Raja

In December 2022, Major Adil Raja, a retired Pakistan Army soldier, claimed in a video that General Qamar Javed Bajwa not only used top Pakistani actresses to honey-trap Pakistani politicians and other influential people but also used to spend “nights” with the actresses in ISI safe houses. [7]News18 However, later, several actors in Pakistan criticised Adil for making “false allegations.” A senior Pakistan Army officer also filed a defamation case against Adil in a UK court. [8]The Friday Times

Bajwa’s Alleged Statement on Pakistan Military’s Readiness

In 2021, journalist Hamid Mir conducted a show in which he claimed that during a closed-door conference in the Foreign Office, Bajwa revealed that the reason for seeking a ceasefire with India was that Pakistan was not ready to handle military escalation with India due to monetary constraints. He also said that India’s military preparedness was far superior to that of the Pakistan military. Mir further claimed that Bajwa wanted PM Narendra Modi to come to Pakistan and had even talked about it with NSA Ajit Doval in a secret meeting in a Gulf country. After the revelation, Bajwa received severe criticism from journalists and politicians. Some even called for lodging a complaint against him for sedition and treason. Prime Minister Imran Khan also criticised Bajwa and said that he had claimed even worse things whenever he visited the Prime Minister’s Office. Imran, in an interview, said,

Since this matter is related to national security, I don’t want to say anything that would become news for international media as it would be detrimental to Pakistan.”

Later, DG-ISPR, the Pakistan military’s media wing, issued a clarification on the issue and said that Bajwa’s comments were taken out of context and presented to the public after distorting them. [9]DAWN

Allegations of Meddling with Elections

In 2018, the Pakistan Army, under Bajwa’s command, was accused of influencing the election results in the 2018 general elections. The elections were termed by BBC as the “dirtiest elections in Pakistan’s history.” [10]BBC The army allegedly helped Imran Khan’s PTI party register a victory over Nawaz Sharif’s PML(N). [11]Foreign Affairs Later, the citizens of Pakistan began demanding the resignation of Sardar Raza Khan, the CEC. He, however, refuted the claims of any sort of rigging. He was supported by the European Union which claimed that the 2018 election process was an improvement over the elections held in the past. Thereafter, a recounting was conducted in 94 constituencies in which Imran’s party emerged as the largest party.

Nawaz Sharif’s Allegations Against Bajwa

In 2017, after getting removed from the post of the Prime Minister of Pakistan and going into a self-imposed exile in London, Nawaz Sharif gave an interview in which he claimed that he was removed from power through a conspiracy by General Bajwa and two judges of the Supreme Court. [12]The Economic Times Nawaz was reportedly removed from the post due to his name being mentioned in the Panama papers. However, Bajwa later claimed in front of a parliamentary committee of playing no role in the conspiring against the Prime Minister. [13]The Economic Times In 2023, Prime Minister Imran Khan supported Nawaz’s claims and said that when Bajwa was chief of the army, he sent two brigadiers outside of Pakistan to plant evidence to prove Nawaz’s involvement in corruption. [14]NDTV Imran, in an interview, said,

He (Bajwa) had sent two brigadiers who proved Nawaz was involved in the Panama case. This is why Nawaz is not forgiving Bajwa.”

Declining Freedom of Journalists

Many sources have claimed that after Bajwa took over the command of the Pakistan Army, the freedom of journalists was curtailed. This was because the ISI reportedly abducted and killed journalists who went against the wishes of the armed forces and criticised them. [15]South Asia Press

Fallout With Imran Khan

According to sources, Imran Khan was supported by the Pakistan Army to take over the office of the Prime Minister by sidelining Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari. After taking over the office, Imran initially supported General Bajwa’s political ambitions and even safeguarded him numerous times. It was during Imran’s tenure as the PM that he granted a three-year extension to Bajwa. [16]India Today Following Imran’s removal from the office, he, in an interview, said that giving Bajwa an extension was the biggest mistake of his life. He also accused Bajwa of playing “double games.” While giving an interview, Bajwa said,

I did not get to know how the lies were spoken and I was betrayed. Gen Bajwa was playing a double game and I discovered later that even PTI’s members were being given different messages. I would believe in everything General Bajwa would tell me because our interests were the same… that we had to save the country.”

Reportedly, the duo fell out of favour with each other over a series of issues such as fostering closer ties with India and Israel, resuming trade with various non-Muslim countries, and appointment of the Director General of the ISI. In 2022, in his farewell speech, General Bajwa acknowledged the role played by the army in influencing the elections and policy-making of the government. He also claimed that the Pakistan Army has stopped interfering in political issues. [17]DAWN He said,

In my opinion, the reason for this is the constant meddling by the army in politics for the last 70 years, which is unconstitutional. That is why, since February last year, the military has decided they will not interfere in any political matter. The reality is that in Pakistan, institutions, political parties and civil society – they have all made mistakes.” [18]Al Jazeera

In 2023, Khan claimed that for exposing the nexus between the Pakistan Army and several politicians, Bajwa wanted to have him killed. [19]WION Imran has also been criticised for taking a “U-turn” as he had criticised Nawaz when he claimed Bajwa’s hand in his removal from the post of the PM. In 2023, Imran Khan claimed that Bajwa tried to put pressure on him to start a dialogue with India. [20]The Times of India Imran talked about it, in an interview, and said,

Gen Bajwa wanted me to develop friendly ties with India. He put pressure on me for this and it was one of the reasons our relationship deteriorated.”

General Bajwa with Imran Khan during an event

General Bajwa with Imran Khan during an event

Military Decorations

Pakistani Medals

  • Tamgha-e-Azm (Medal of Conviction) (2018)
  • Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military) (Order of Excellence) (2016)
  • Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military) (Crescent of Excellence) (2011)
  • Tamgha-e-Diffa (General Service Medal) with Siachen Glacier Clasp
  • Command & Staff College Quetta Instructor’s Medal
  • Tamgha-e-Istaqlal Pakistan (Escalation with India Medal) (2002)
  • Tamgha-e-Baqa (Nuclear Test Medal) (1998)
  • Tamgha-e-Salgirah Pakistan (Independence Day Golden Jubilee Medal) (1997)
  • Qarardad-e-Pakistan Tamgha (Resolution Day Golden Jubilee Medal) (1990)
  • Jamhuriat Tamgha (Democracy Medal) (1988)
  • Hijri Tamgha (Hijri Medal) (1979)

    A photo of General Qamar Javed Bajwa with all his medals on his uniform

    A photo of General Qamar Javed Bajwa with all his medals on his uniform

Foreign Medals

  • The Order of Bahrain 1st Class (2021)

    A photo of Bajwa taken while he was receiving the Order of Bahrain

    A photo of Bajwa taken while he was receiving the Order of Bahrain

  • GUSP Medal For Merit from Russia (2018)
  • Turkish Legion of Merit (2017)

    A photo of General Bajwa with a Turkish General receiving the Turkish Legion of Merit

    A photo of General Bajwa with a Turkish General receiving the Turkish Legion of Merit

  • The Order of Military Merit from Jordan (2017)

    General Bajwa receiving the Jordanian Order of Military Merit

    General Bajwa receiving the Jordanian Order of Military Merit

  • United Nations MONUC Medal (2003 & 2007)
  • Order of King Abdul Aziz (1st Class)

    A photo of Bajwa taken after he won the Order of King Abdul Aziz medal in Saudi Arabia

    A photo of Bajwa taken after he won the Order of King Abdul Aziz medal in Saudi Arabia

Assets & Properties

Movable Assets

  • Deposits in Banks: Rs. 22,70,000
  • Jewellery: Rs. 7,00,000
  • Others (Furniture Items): Rs. 5,00,000

Immovable Assets

  • Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 85,00,000

Note: The given estimates are according to the year 2013. It excludes the assets and properties owned by his wife and children.

Net Worth

General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s net worth in 2013 was estimated to be Rs. 1,19,70,000. It excludes the net worth of his wife and children.

Favourites

  • Sport: Cricket
  • Singer: Noor Jehan
  • Music Genre: Indian Classical

Facts/Trivia

  • Qamar Javed Bajwa passionately follows his hobby of reading. According to his son Saad, he developed this hobby after joining the army. He likes to read about contemporary European history.
  • Cricket is his favourite sport. He used to play cricket in school as a wicketkeeper. He also likes field hockey.

    Bajwa holding a hockey stick

    Bajwa holding a hockey stick

  • According to sources, when Bajwa was a major general, he used to send a private jet to the UK to bring his kids home on vacations from the UK, where they were studied.
  • It is claimed that after the Army Public School terror attack in Peshawar in 2014, Qamar Bajwa kept the photos of the killed children in his office to work more efficiently towards eliminating terrorism in the country.
  • In 2017, General Bajwa was spotted dining at a restaurant without any security, despite several threats issued by terrorist organizations as the Pakistan Army, under his leadership, had launched numerous counter-terrorism operations.
  • In 2018, General Qamar Javed Bajwa was ranked 68 on the list of Most Powerful People in the World by Forbes. [22]Forbes
  • In 2021, a court of inquiry was initiated against the son of a retired major general of the Pakistan Army who wrote a letter to General Bajwa criticising him for asking Imran to extend his tenure as COAS.
  • In 2022, while addressing a military conference in Rawalpindi, Bajwa claimed that the 1971 war with India was not lost because of the military but because of the political leaders of Pakistan. He also targeted the civilian government for the downfall of Pakistan’s economy. [23]The Siasat Daily
  • In 2023, a video surfaced on the internet in which an Afghan man was seen verbally abusing Qamar Javed Bajwa and his wife while they were on vacation in France.

 

  • In an interview in 2023, General Qamar Javed Bajwa claimed that General Raheel Sharif tried to extend his service as an army chief for three years to supersede Bajwa and not allow him to become the chief. [24]Outlook
  • It is claimed that Qamar Bajwa asked several senior journalists, who are good friends of PM Imran Khan, to persuade him to align his actions with the wishes of the Pakistan Army.
  • General Qamar Javed Bajwa owns a lot of land in Pakistan. He owns a 600-yard plot in Lahore, a 1 kanal plot in Rawalpindi, a 2 kanal plot in Lahore, and a 1 marla plot in Lahore.

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