Beijing/Islamabad, Oct 9 (IANS) Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s visibly growing influence in his country’s political affairs and his control over Prime Minister Imran Khan has not gone unnoticed, even during their visit to China.
The army chief, who raised eyebrows last week when he held a discussion with all the top business houses in Pakistan, has timed his visit to China to coincide with that of Imran Khan.
Not only that, during Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s introduction with the Pakistani delegation, Gen Bajwa was seen telling his PM to accompany Li and introduce his people.
Twitterati pointed out Bajwa indicating to PM Khan to accompany Li, after which Imran haltingly followed the Chinese PM, but by the time he caught up to Li, the introductions were over.
Bajwa also joined Imran Khan’s meetings with the Premier and President Xi Jinping.
His accompanying the Prime Minister to all his meetings comes amid speculation that he is seeking a greater role in the country’s affairs, or even that he is seeking to replace Imran Khan, who has been unsuccessful in managing the country’s teetering economic affairs.
While Bajwa arrived in China on an official visit on Monday, Imran Khan landed on Tuesday, and they held separate interactions during the day.
While Imran Khan and his delegates met businessmen and Chinese officials, General Bajwa met the top military officials in China to discuss the security situation in the region and the Kashmir issue.
On Wednesday, the two together met with the Chinese leadership for talks.
Bajwa, who got a three-year extension in August, separately called on Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and discussed the military ties between the two countries.
The visit of Imran Khan and Bajwa to China comes two days ahead of President Xi’s visit to India for the Mahabalipuram informal summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.