Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has cited misinformation and propaganda from ‘inimical forces’ as a threat to national security during a six-hour-long closed-door interaction with students at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
“Pakistan is blessed with dynamic and talented youth,” the COAS said, as quoted in an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release.
Students who attended the COAS’s talk had reportedly been told not to publicize the details of his speech and discussion, according to members of the school’s faculty.
According to ISPR, the army chief identified human resource development, innovation and technological advancements as vital for the progress of the nation.
Following the COAS’s campus visit, a professor at LUMS said that one student told her that the army chief was well received.
Professor Nida Kirmani, who has been a vocal opponent of the government, noted many students’ positive responses to the COAS’ visit, but pointed out that most of the specifics of what General Bajwa said remained undisclosed.
The professor reported that during his visit, the COAS had attempted to distance himself and the military from the current government.
One student compared General Bajwa’s visit to that of Pakistan People’ Party (PPP) President Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, claiming that the latter had not answered question freely, while the COAS responded to every question in turn.
Various reports on social media quoted General Bajwa as saying “If you think I call the shots in this country then you have no idea who Imran Khan is.”