Pakistan PM Names Former ISI Chief Lt Gen Syed Asim Munir As New Army Chief

Asim Munir
Asim Munir

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) head Lt General Asim Munir as the new chief of the army staff (COAS). Asim Munir will succeed General Qamar Javed Bajwa as army chief. A three-year extension has been granted to General Qamar Javed Bajwa, 61, who is scheduled to retire on November 29.

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Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been elected chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.

In addition, both officers have been promoted to the rank of four-star general. President Arif Alvi must now approve the appointments.

Security and foreign policy are handled by the Pakistan Army, which has ruled the country for more than half of its 75-year history.

It was announced Wednesday that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had received the summary for the appointments of the COAS and CJCSC from the Ministry of Defence. Six top lieutenant generals had been nominated for the positions by the Army.

Besides Lt General Asim Munir, others in contention for the Army chief post were Lt General Sahir Shamshad Mirza (Commander 10 Corps), Lt General Azhar Abbas (Chief of General Staff), Lt General Nauman Mehmood (National Defence University President), Lt General Faiz Hamid (Commander Bahawalpur Corps), and Lt General Mohammad Amir (Commander Gujranwala Corps).

Who Is Lt General Syed Asim Munir

In September 2018, Lieutenant General Syed Asim Munir was promoted to two-star general. A report in Dawn said he was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment through the Officers Training School in Mangla.

As a brigadier under the outgoing army chief, Lt General Munir is a close aide to General Bajwa. At the time, Bajwa was Commander of X Corps.

Lt General Munir was appointed director general of Military Intelligence in 2017. In October of next year, he will become the Inter-Services Intelligence chief.

Under the government of former prime minister Imran Khan, his tenure as ISI chief was short-lived and was replaced by Lt Gen Faiz Hamid within eight months.

As the quartermaster general, Lt Gen Munir was posted as the commander of the Gujranwala Corps for two years.

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