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Pakistani government officially notifies General Asim Munir as new army chief

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Islamabad | November 25, 2022 3:30:12 PM IST
The Pakistani government has officially notified General Asim Munir and General Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the next chief of army staff (COAS) and chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), Geo News reported.

The notification comes after Pakistan's President Arif Alvi approved the summary to appoint top military officers on Thursday.

According to Geo News, the notification reads, "In exercise of powers conferred by Article 243(4)(b) of the Constitution [...] read with Section 8A of Pakistan Army Act 1952, the president on the advice of the prime minister is pleased to approve the promotion of PA-25031 Lt Gen Syed Asim Munir [...] to the rank of General with immediate effect and his appointment as Chief of the Army Staff for a period of three years with effect from 29th November 2022."

Notably, the incumbent Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa is due to retire on November 29 while General Nadeem Raza is also scheduled to retire on November 27. After their appointment as new COAS and CJCSC, the two top military officials held meetings with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Arif Alvi at the Prime Minister's Office and the Aiwan-e-Sadar, respectively, as per the news report.

Following their appointments, Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif tweeted, "My congratulations and best wishes to the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee-designate Lt. General Sahir Shamshad Mirza and Chief of the Army Staff-designate Lt. General Asim Munir on their appointment."

The uncertainty surrounding the president's approval of the key military appointments took centre stage after the head of the state departed to Lahore to hold a meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Geo News reported.

All eyes were on the meeting as cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan had said that he and President Alvi would play "legally and constitutionally" on the issue. However, Alvi ended all the speculations as he approved the summary regarding the appointment.

General Asim Munir is the first army chief of Pakistan who has been chief of both Military Intelligence (MI) and the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence). Presently, General Munir is serving as the Quarter Master at the General Headquarters (GHQ).

General Asim Munir was among those in Pakistan who oversaw the 2019 Pulwama terror attack, according to Tilak Devasher, a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) and who retired as Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat. Notably, the tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after the suicide attack in which 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives when their convoy was attacked on February 14, 2019.

Speaking to ANI earlier, Tilak Devasher said, "It was under his (Lt Gen Munir's) watch that the Pulwama attack took place and he was DG of the ISI in November and this happened in February 2019. He also served in the areas in the core that overlooks or deals with Kashmir in India. So, he is very familiar with this area." (ANI)

 
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