There are nearly 7.5 billion humans on planet Earth, but the chosen 75 men and women make the world turn, claims Forbes Magazine. Forbes’ annual ranking of The World’s Most Powerful People identifies one person out of every 100 million whose actions, as per their analysis, mean the most. Apparently, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa is included in those 75 people who has made up to the list, by superseding his slice of 100 million people.
He is designated the crown for his efforts in begetting peace in the U.S. ally state by fighting away the terrorist groups present in the area, in addition to managing a complex relationship with India on its eastern border. Two years into his tenure as the head of the world’s sixth largest Army, Qamar Javed Bajwa has established himself as a mediator. The rift between India and Pakistan is improving, partly thanks to his efforts.
To compile the ranking of The World’s Most Powerful People, the magazine considered hundreds of candidates from various walks of life and measured their power along four dimensions. First, it was checked whether the candidate has power over lots of people. Next, the financial resources controlled by each person was assessed. Then, their power in multiple spheres was calculated. Forbes maintains that there are only 75 slots on the list, so being powerful in just one area is often not enough. Hence their picks project their influence in myriad ways. Lastly, they made sure that the candidates actively used their power.
To calculate the final rankings, a panel of Forbes editors ranked all of the candidates in each of these four dimensions of power, and those individual rankings were averaged into a composite score.
General Bajwa is a newcomer to the list along with 16 others on the list this year, including Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud – the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who is thought to be the fulcrum around which the Middle Eastern geopolitics moves for the next generation. Other new members include Jerome H. Powell – chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Darren Woods – CEO of Exxon Mobil, Moon Jae-in – President of South Korea and Robert Mueller – Special Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice.
General Qamar Javed Bajwa was appointed as the 10th Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan by the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in December 2016.
He was commissioned on 24 October 1980 in 16 Baloch Regiment, which has produced three out of the sixteen army chiefs in the past — General Yahya, General Aslam Baig and General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.
General Bajwa is also a graduate of Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, (Toronto) Canada, Naval Post Graduate University, Monterey (California) USA and National Defence University, Islamabad, and has served as an instructor at School of Infantry and Tactics, Quetta, Command and Staff College, Quetta and NDU, Islamabad.
Prior to the appointment as the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army, General Bajwa served as the Inspector General Training and Evaluation from 2015–16 and as field commander of the X Corps from 2013 to 2015 which is responsible for the area along the Line of Control. In addition, he also served as a peacekeeper in the UN mission in Congo as a Brigadier and served as the brigade commander in 2007. Forbes also cited former Chief of Indian Army Staff General Bikram Singh’s annotations regarding the Pakistani COAS. In fact, General Bajwa has served in Congo under General Bikram Singh who was all praises for Bajwa’s performance.
The COAS has vast experience in the military field, especially in significant areas such as Baltistan and Kashmir. His approach towards Pakistan’s arch rivals and neighbors India remains passive yet firm which makes him a composed General ready to act with a clear mind rather than being impulsive. He has remained professional and away from politics throughout his term in the army which also adds to his qualities as a true military general. General Bajwa’s professional profile and service record fully endorse his placement in the Forbes Most Powerful.
The magazine placed Chinese President Xi Jinping at the top of the list, while placing Russia’s Vladimir Putin as the second most powerful man of 2018. Reducing the US President Donald Trump to number three position in the list of most powerful personality. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel was ranked fourth in the list, making her the most powerful woman in the world. This year’s list came at a time of rapid and profound changes, and represented a best guess about who will matter in the year to come.
*Ishaal Zehra is a journalist who contributes to the Pakistan News Service.