–Army chief visits SSG HQ to express solidarity with Gen (r) Musharraf
RAWALPINDI: A day after former army chief General (r) Pervez Musharraf was sentenced to death by a special court, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the Special Services Group (SSG) Headquarters and said that the military will not allow country’s hard-earned stability to be compromised.
Gen Bajwa’s visit appears to be a show of solidarity with the former army chief who was convicted on Tuesday for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007 and abrogating the constitution. The former president himself belonged to the SSG.
“We have brought stability by failing all inimical forces operating against Pakistan. We shall never let it go away at any cost,” the army chief said during the visit to the SSG Headquarters on Wednesday.
“SSG is our pride with myriad contributions towards defence of [the] country through its valiant officers and soldiers since the creation of Pakistan,” General Qamar was quoted as saying by the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a tweet.
Musharraf, 76, is currently in Dubai where he is seeking treatment of multiple diseases.
On Tuesday, hours after the verdict was announced, Pakistan Army reacted to the decision by saying that it was in “a lot of pain and anguish” over Musharraf’s conviction.
“An ex-army chief, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and president of Pakistan, who has served the country for over 40 years, fought wars for the defence of the country can surely never be a traitor,” the military’s public relations wing said in a statement.
The SSG, colloquially known as the Maroon Berets due to their distinctive service headgear, or commandos, is the special operations force of the Pakistan Army mandated and tasked with their five primary missions: foreign internal defence, reconnaissance, direct actions, counter-terrorism, and the unconventional warfare being their most important mission.
Musharraf had joined the SSG shortly after the end of the 1965 war. He had served the elite force from 1966 to 1972 – the period during which he was first promoted to captain and then to major rank. During the 1971 war, he was the company commander of an SSG commando battalion.