Monitoring Desk — Gen Asim Munir becomes the new army chief and Gen Sahir Shamshad will be the new Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
President Arif Alvi signed the summary of appointments the same day he received it. The unusual and untraditional thing that happened was President Alvi’s meeting with PTI chief Imran Khan in Lahore before signing the summary.
Before announcing his decision, PM Shehbaz Sharif held a federal cabinet meeting to put the matter before the cabinet. It is said that the allied parties had already authorized Shehbaz to pick the officers for the top slots.
Lt Gen Munir, who was also Pakistan’s DG ISI, will replace the outgoing COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa after a six-year term.
COAS Gen Bajwa, who was appointed the army chief in 2016, will retire on November 29. He was initially set to hang up his boots in 2019, but the PTI-led government gave him a three-year extension.
Who is Lt Gen Asim Munir?
Lt Gen Asim Munir, from the Mangla Officers Training School program, joined the Pakistan Army and then became a commissioned officer in the Frontier Force Regiment.
Gen Asim commanded the Northern Areas Force as a brigadier and was appointed the director-general of the Military Intelligence in early 2017. In 2018, he was appointed as the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Later, he was posted as Corps Commander Gujranwala for two years. Currently, he is serving as the Quarter Master at the General Headquarters (GHQ).
He will become the first army chief who has headed both — the MI and the ISI. Lt Gen Munir will also be the first army chief who won the Sword of Honour in the passing out parade.
The new army chief during his posting in Madina as a lieutenant colonel, became Hafiz-i-Quran (a person who has memorised the Quran) at age 38.
Who is Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza?
Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza hails from the Sindh Regiment and served as the director-general of the military operations under former COAS Raheel Sharif.
Lt Gen Mirza also supervised the operations against terrorists in North Waziristan and was part of the coordination group that oversaw negotiations with Afghanistan.
He was also a member of the Gilgit-Baltistan Reforms Committee. After becoming a Lt Gen, Mirza was appointed as the Chief of the General Staff. Currently, he is serving as the Corps Commander Rawalpindi.