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Islamabad: In what might be seen as a conflict arising within the Pakistani Army, the second-most senior Pakistan Army officer, General Sarfraz Sattar was allegedly forced to resign after being kept under house arrest with his family for weeks, media reports said.
Pakistan journalist Gul Bukhari claimed the development on her Twitter page.
Gul said Sattar was next in line to be General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s successor as the country's army chief.
The senior most general in Pakistan army after Qamar Javed Bajwa, Sarfaraz Sattar, has been forced to resign today after weeks in house arrest together with his entire family. He was next in line for the position of COAS. His son couldn’t take his medical exam as a result.— Gul Bukhari (@GulBukhari) January 12, 2020
Gul tweeted: "The senior most general in Pakistan army after Qamar Javed Bajwa, Sarfaraz Sattar, has been forced to resign today after weeks in house arrest together with his entire family. He was next in line for the position of COAS. His son couldn’t take his medical exam as a result."
Sources in the Indian security establishment told The Print that there was no independent confirmation of his forced resignation.
Sattar was known to be close to Gen. Raheel Sharif.
Sharif was the predecessor of Bajwa.
Sattar had often vocally opposed extension of Bajwa's term.
Bajwa was scheduled to retire in November but he was given a three-year extension.
Media reports last year said that seven Generals of the Pakistan Army joined hands with Supreme Court chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa to block the Imran Khan government’s move to grant three-year extension to Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
It reported that seven Generals, including one who had served as a defence attache in Pakistan High Commission in Delhi, were opposed to granting a three-year extension to Bajwa as this would spoil their chances for the coveted post.
The list of disgruntled generals includes Corps Commander Multan Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar who was on top of the seniority list for appointment as the Chief of Army Staff; Lt Gen Nadeem Raza, Lt Gen Humayun Aziz, Lt Gen Naeem Ashraf, Lt Gen Sher Afghan and Lt Gen Qazi Ikraam, reported the Economic Times.
Meanwhile, speaking on Sattar, a source told The Print that he was a “hardcore Punjabi soldier” and many saw him as the one reimposing the Punjab regiment’s dominance in the army. Gen. Bajwa, the source pointed out, was from the Baloch regiment.
“A number of campaigns were run against Gen. Bajwa to ensure he does not become chief and then to ensure he does not get an extension. This included a whisper campaign that suggested Bajwa was an Ahmadi,” a second source told the news portal
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