Former Army Chief Bikram Singh, under whom the new Pakistan Army Chief Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has served on a UN assignment, tonight said India should be “careful” and watchful with regard to his approach. Gen (retd) Singh described Lt Gen Bajwa as a “thorough professional” who gave an “outstanding performance” under him in Congo but said things change once an officer goes back to his home country. “There might be great bonhomie when the goal is world peace under UN mandate but things change once you go back to your country. This is because your national interest comes first,” Gen Singh told PTI. He said India should wait and watch and be “careful”. Asked if he sees any drastic change in Pakistani military policy once Lt Gen Bajwa takes over succeeding Gen Raheel Shareef who retires on November 30, he said, “I do not see any change”.
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Gen Singh hoped that Lt Gen Bajwa will continue to consider homegrown extremism as a greater threat than India as he has publicly said. The new Pakistan Army chief has wide experience of LoC affairs due to his extensive involvement with PoK and Northern Areas. “He has served in all these areas (bordering India) and knows pretty well what kind of terrain and conditions exist on both sides.