NEW YORK -- With the clock ticking on his expected retirement, Pakistan's all-powerful army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, paid a long-delayed visit to Washington in early October. Some saw it as a valedictory trip. Others speculated that it was a signal he intends to stay on after his term ends next month, just as he secured an extension in 2019.
Either way, Bajwa's mission was clear: shoring up a crucial diplomatic relationship undermined by years of distrust, at a time when Islamabad faces an unprecedented storm of challenges, including political turmoil inflamed last Friday by the disqualification of former Prime Minister Imran Khan from holding public office.
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