Pakistan Federal Minister of Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif has confirmed said that the President of Pakistan has approved the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff and has signed the advisory sent by the Prime Minister.
After the signing of this advisory, the new army chief will be General Asim Munir, while Lt. General Sahir Shamshad Mirza will now be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
His appointment coincides with a dispute between the army and former prime minister Imran Khan, who blames the army for playing a role in his ouster earlier this year and who has been leading anti-government protests ever since.
Who is Lieutenant General Asim Munir?
Lieutenant General Asim Munir was among the top three candidates for the top two posts. He was head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) when tensions between India and Pakistan escalated following the February 2019 Pulwama suicide attack that resulted in the deaths of 40 CRPF staff.
Munir was one of the military decision-makers involved in shaping Pakistan’s security and response policies at the time, according to people familiar with the matter.
His brief stint as head of ISI ended abruptly because his no-nonsense attitude and strict approach were reportedly not welcomed by then-Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Munir’s appointment as the new army chief is likely to deal a setback for the former prime minister as it coincides with a dispute between the army and Khan, who blames the army for taking part in his ouster earlier this year.
According to the information available so far, Lieutenant General Asim Munir will be the first army chief of Pakistan who is a Hafiz Quran reciter.
According to reports circulating online, General Asim’s father was also a Hafiz Quran memorizer, and the Army Chief-designate memorized the Holy Quran from Madrasa Darul-Tajweed Hafz-ul-Qur’an in Rawalpindi.
- Lieutenant General Munir was later appointed director general of military intelligence in early 2017, and in October of the next year he was appointed head of inter-service intelligence (ISI).
- He was prematurely removed as head of the ISI at the request of then-Prime Minister Imran Khan and was replaced by Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid within eight months. No reason was given for his removal.
- -He currently serves as quartermaster general of the army.
- -He is the highest ranking general after the head of the outgoing army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
- -He will be Pakistan’s 17th army chief since it declared independence from Britain in 1947. That compares with some 30 prime ministers during the same period.
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