Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa is a military officer who is ranked as the 68th most influential person in the world by Forbes magazine, which called him de facto the most powerful person in Pakistan.
Army Chief Bajwa was born on 11 November 1960 in Karachi to a Punjabi Jat family belongs to Ghakhar Mandi. His father Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Iqbal Bajwa was an officer of the Pakistan Army who died while in service in 1967 in Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan. Bajwa is the youngest of five siblings.
Bajwa is a graduate of Canadian Army Command and Staff College in Canada, Naval Postgraduate School in the United States, and National Defence University, Pakistan.
General Bajwa was enrolled in the Pakistan Army in 1978 and was commissioned on 24 October 1980 in 16 Baloch Regiment, the same unit that his late father commanded in the 1960s. He briefly served in the 5th Northern Light Infantry Regiment in Kashmir in 1992 as a major. As Lieutenant Colonel, he served in the X Corps which is stationed in Rawalpindi, where he was a general staff officer. As a brigadier, Bajwa served as Chief of Staff at X Corps and has also commanded a division in Northern Areas as a formation commander. Bajwa has also commanded a brigade in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo in 2007. He served in Congo as a brigade commander in 2007 under former Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army Bikram Singh, who was serving there as a division commander. Gen Singh later termed Bajwa's performance there as "professional and outstanding."
In May 2009, he was promoted to the rank of Major General. As a Major General, Bajwa served as the Force Commander of Gilgit-Baltistan and held the title of the General Officer Commanding. In August 2011, he was awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military). Bajwa was an instructor at the School of Infantry and Tactics in Quetta, at Command and Staff College in Quetta, and National Defence University, Pakistan.
He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in August 2013 and was installed as Corps Commander X Corps shortly after. He was a Grade-I officer during his tenure as Corps Commander X Corps. In 2014, Bajwa was installed as Colonel Commandant of the Baloch Regiment. In September 2015, he was appointed as the Inspector General of the Training and Evaluation at the GHQ where he was a Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif.
Since Bajwa has been posted in X Corps thrice, which is the army's important and largest corps, Bajwa has good experience of handling affairs in Kashmir. He belongs to the infantry's 16 Baloch Regiment and 62nd Pakistan Military Academy Long Course.
In November 2016, Bajwa was promoted to the rank of four-star general and was appointed as the 16th Chief of the Army Staff of the Pakistan Army by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, succeeding Raheel Sharif. It is believed that his pro-democracy track record and views played a key role in his appointment for the COAS slot.
General Bajwa was awarded the position of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) till November 2022.