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Who is Pakistan’s New Army Chief, Asim Munir?

The 600,000-strong nuclear-armed army will be led by Lieutenant General Asim Munir on November 29.

In Pakistan, Islamabad

After days of uncertainty, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed Lieutenant General Asim Munir as the country’s new army chief.

On November 29, when incumbent General Qamar Javed Bajwa retires after a six-year tenure, Munir, whose nomination was approved by President Arif Alvi on Thursday evening, assumes command of the 600,000-strong nuclear-armed army.

For the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad was proposed.

Winner of “Sword of Honour”

Through the Mangla Officers Training School (OTS) program, Munir joined the Pakistani military and was awarded the prestigious Sword of Honour, given to the cadet who performs the best.

He has directed a division that neglects Pakistan’s northern regions, including the contested district of Kashmir, where he worked pair with Bajwa, who then, at that point, headed the Pakistan armed force’s world class X Corps.

 

He stated, “The government feared that Khan would attempt to jeopardize the process and make the selection of Munir controversial before it could actually take effect” through President Alvi. Alvi was one of the PTI’s early members.

Al Jazeera was informed by a military source that Munir is regarded as apolitical and has a “clear line of thinking.”

He is a rare officer because he has led the MI and the ISI simultaneously. The source stated, “He is the first army chief to lead both intelligence agencies.”

“The ISI experience will serve him well for a global outlook in the future, while the MI experience will help him look at the internal dynamics of the army.”

Singapore-based Pakistan investigator Abdul Basit expressed opposition to the reservations of Khan’s PTI party, Munir is an expert fighter who will get the foundation far from legislative issues.

He stated to Al Jazeera, “It is a fact that the military wants to leave politics, but will politics leave the military is a question to ponder over.”

Basit added that Munir has served in Saudi Arabia, one of Pakistan’s most important allies.

Munir was sent there as part of the close cooperation between the Pakistani army and the Saudi Arabian military.

He stated, “One of the factors that may have influenced his appointment for the top job could very well be being a familiar face in Riyadh.”

“Proved himself deserving”

Muhammed Zeeshan, a retired official in the army, stated that Munir was his superior in the military and had held prominent positions in operational and instructional leadership.

According to Zeeshan, who is currently serving as the think-tank’s director general at the Centre for Peace, Security, and Developmental Studies in Islamabad, Munir’s career postings demonstrate that he was prepared for high-level positions throughout his career.

He stated to Al Jazeera, “It is pretty evident that he proved himself worthy of where he is today, based on his postings and the results of his courses.”

Zeeshan said Munir did a good job as head of MI when Bajwa was army chief.

“As the head of ISI, be that as it may, he was a piece lamentable to be trapped in a developing world of politics. However, Zeeshan stated, “His maturity is demonstrated by the manner in which he complied with the request to leave in such a graceful manner.”

The retired brigadier stated that Munir faces difficult circumstances in the country.

He stated, “In my opinion, his biggest challenge would be to restore the nation’s trust and confidence in the army.”

 

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