Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Asim Munir has been promoted to now become the new chief of the Pakistan Army by Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif. A summary in this regard has been sent to the President. This has been confirmed by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in a tweet.

Who is Asim Munir?

PM Shehbaz Sharif has picked Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Asim Munir to succeed outgoing army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. Lt-Gen Munir is the senior-most among the names given in the summary. He was promoted to the rank of a three-star general in September 2018.

Lt- Gen Munir entered the service via the Officers Training School (OTS) programme in Mangla, and was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment. He has been a close aide of the incumbent COAS ever since he commanded troops in the Force Command Northern Areas as a brigadier under Gen Bajwa.

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He was later appointed Director General Military Intelligence in early 2017, and in October next year was made the ISI chief. However, he was replaced soon by Lt Gen Faiz Hameed within eight months, reportedly on the insistence of the then PM, Imran Khan. He was posted as Gujranwala Corps commander for two years, before being moved to the GHQ as Quartermaster General.

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Who is Sahir Shamshad Mirza?

The following is a bio of the new Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second important role in the armed forces. While General Mirza’s bio is impressive, what was striking is that he was raised an orphan and has managed to reach the top. When he joined the army, he wrote ‘8 Sindh’ in the ‘Next of Kin’ option. It was the name of his Unit.

The premier has picked Lieutenant General (Lt-Gen) Sahir Shamshad Mirza to be the next Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). Lt-Gen Mirza came to fame as the director general military operations during Gen Raheel Sharif’s tenure. In that role, he was part of Sharif’s core team at the General Headquarters, which supervised the military operation against the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other militants in North Waziristan. Moreover, Lt-Gen Mirza was closely involved in the intra-Afghan talks involving Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and the United States.

He was also a member of the committee on reforms for Gilgit-Baltistan. He was appointed chief of general staff, effectively making him the second-most powerful person in the army after the chief of army staff. In that role, he was closely engaged in crucial decision-making related to national security and foreign affairs. He also joined former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in strategic talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in 2021.

In October 2021, he was posted as corps commander Rawalpindi to enable him to acquire operational experience and become eligible to be considered for top posts. The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee is an inter-services forum that works for coordination among the three armed forces. The CJCSC also serves as the principal military adviser to the prime minister and the National Command Authority.

General Asim Munir has been ‘retained’ under the Army Act?

The Federal Government has retained Lieutenant General Asim Munir under the Army Act. Earlier, government decided to appoint Lt Gen Munir as new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

Gen Munir was scheduled to retire on November 27. He had submitted his retirement application to the defence ministry. However, the defence ministry did not accept the request for retirement and decided to retain Gen Munir.

Meeting between Dr Alvi and Khan

President of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi, has reached Zaman Park in Lahore to meet Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to consult him over the two key military appointments that were announced today.

In an interview earlier this week, when asked about the appointment, Imran Khan said that he was maintaining contact with the President on this matter.

President House will give an official handout around 7pm on army chief appointment

PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry has said that the President House will give an official handout between 6:30 and 7pm about Dr Arif Alvi’s meeting with his party Chairman Imran Khan.

A few hours ago, Alvi reached Lahore to meet Khan and to consult him over the two key military appointments.

Earlier, the federal government announced that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed Lieutenant General Asim Munir as Pakistan’s next Chief of Army Staff and Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), with an official summary of both appointments sent to President Alvi for his signature.

President Arif Alvi signs summary for the appointment of COAS and CJCSC: report

President Dr Arif Alvi has signed the summary to appoint Lt Gen Asim Munir as the new army chief and Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza to be the next Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). It is being reported that President Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be holding meetings with both new appointees shortly.