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Pakistan army chief gets 3-year extension ‘in view of regional security environment’

Pakistan army chief gets 3-year extension ‘in view of regional security environment’

Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, was handed a three-year extension on Monday as tensions with neighboring India flared this month over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

The decision has been taken “in view of the regional security environment,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. Bajwa’s tenure was due to end in November but analysts have long predicted the extension.

During Bajwa’s tenure the military has been accused by opposition politicians of electoral manipulation to bring Prime Minister Imran Khan to power, Reuters said. Media outlets have also complained about strong restrictions on free speech.

The military, which has ruled Pakistan for nearly half of its 72-year history, has denied interfering in politics.