General Syed Asim Munir assumed the command of Pakistan’s army at an impressive change-of-command ceremony held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. Gen Munir is the country’s 17th army chief.
The outgoing chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, formally passed on the command baton to his successor. Gen Bajwa retires after a six-year tenure.
The ceremony at GHQ was attended by senior armed forces leaders, both serving and retired military officials, as well as foreign dignitaries. Those in attendance included Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Babar as well as former army chief Raheel Sharif.
In his farewell speech, Gen Bajwa said he has full faith that under Gen Munir’s leadership army “will gain new successes and his appointment will prove to be positive for the country”.
Gen Bajwa hoped the appointment of Gen Munir as the military chief would prove to be positive for both the country and the army. In addition to being a “Hafiz-e-Quran, he is a professional, competent and principled officer. I am certain that under his leadership the army will reach new heights of success.”
He thanked the Almighty for giving him the opportunity to serve in the army and felicitated his successor for taking over the command.
During his six-year tenure, Gen Bajwa said the army had always responded to his call regardless of whether it concerned terrorism, border escalation, or natural calamities. “When I asked them for sweat, they gave me blood,” he said lauding the sacrifices of soldiers.
Gen Bajwa also quoted a saying from an American general saying: “Old soldiers don’t die, they just fade away.”
Who is Gen Asim Munir?
Gen Syed Asim Munir has been described as an “outstanding officer”. He is the first army chief who was awarded the prestigious sword of honour.
Gen Munir was promoted to the rank of a three-star general in September 2018. He entered the service via the Officers Training School in Mangla and was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment.
He has commanded the Force Command Northern Areas as a brigadier. He also served as Gujranwala Corps commander and 23 Frontier Force Regiment. He until recently served as the quartermaster general at GHQ.
Gen Munir has attended Fuji School in Japan, Command and Staff College in Quetta, Malaysian Armed Forces College in Kuala Lumpur, and National Defence University in Islamabad from where he received a degree in Public Policy and Strategic Security Management.
Gen Munir has served as the chief of military intelligence (MI) in 2017 and Inter-Services Intelligence in 2018.
Awards conferred upon Gen Munir
He has also received Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second-highest award. He is also a Hafiz-e-Quran.
- Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) – 2018
- Tamgha-e-Diffa (General Service Medal) – Siachen Glacier Clasp
- Tamgha-e-Baqa (Nuclear Test Medal) – 1998
- Tamgha-e-Istaqlal Pakistan (Escalation with India Medal) – 2002
- Tamgha-e-Azm (Medal of Conviction) – 2018
- Service Medals (10 Years, 20 Years, 30 Years, and 35 Years)
- Jamhuriat Tamgha (Democracy Medal) – 1988
- Qarardad-e-Pakistan Tamgha (Resolution Day Golden Jubilee Medal) – 1990
- Tamgha-e-Salgirah Pakistan (Independence Day Golden Jubilee Medal) – 1997
- Command & Staff College Quetta (Instructors’ Medal)