Pakistan PM names General Asim Munir as new Army Chief

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has named Lieutenant General Asim Munir as the country’s new army chief.

Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been appointed chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee.

The current army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, will retire on November 29 after his six-year tenure. Gen Bajwa was appointed army chief in 2016 and received an extension in 2019.

The new appointments were announced following a cabinet meeting on Thursday where PM Sharif selected Munir from a list of six nominees for the two posts from the names sent by the army.

Who is Lt Gen Asim Munir?

  • Lt Gen Asim Munir is currently posted at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi. Before this position, he was assigned as commander of the Gujranwala Corps (XXX Corps).
  • He has served as director general of Military Intelligence and briefly as chief of the country’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
  • Lt Gen Munir entered the service via the Officers Training School program in Mangla and was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment.
  • He was promoted to the rank of a three-star general in September 2018.
  • He has commanded troops in the Force Command Northern Areas as a brigadier under the outgoing army chief Gen Bajwa, then Commander X Corps.

Who is Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza?

  • Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza will succeed the outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Nadeem Raza.
  • Sahir Shamshad hails from Chakwal and was commissioned into Sindh Regiment. 
  • He has had an exceptional career in the army, particularly in senior leadership positions. After his promotion to the three-star rank, Shamshad was appointed chief of general staff.
  • Shamshad was currently posted as Commander X Corps (Rawalpindi).
  • Lt Gen Mirza became prominent as the director general of military operations during the tenure of retired Gen Raheel Sharif as part of the main team which supervised the military operations against the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other militants in North Waziristan.

Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee is an inter-services forum that facilitates coordination among the three armed forces. The position is in principle the most senior in the armed forces but remains a ceremonial one.

The CJCSC also serves as the principal military adviser to the prime minister and the National Command Authority (NCA) – the apex decision-making body on the nuclear command and strategic assets.

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