The former head of ISIS, Lt. General Asim Munir, has been appointed as the new chief of the Pakistani army

ISLAMABAD: Ex HEAT senior lieutenant general Asim Munir Pakistan’s next army chief will be Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Thursday, ending weeks of speculation over who would succeed General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the most powerful post in the country.
The appointment was approved by President Dr Arif Alvi amid speculation that he may not be able to sign or delay the process as he is a member of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by former prime minister Imran. Khan.
Defense Minister Khoja Muhammad Asif said: “The President signed the summary (sent by the government). Calling the president’s nod a good sign, he said: “The process of appointing the army chief caused unrest in the country, but now the issue has been resolved.”
Munir took over after Bajwa retired on November 29. Bajwa has been in charge of the army for six years – more than double the tenure normally allotted for the post.


Munir’s tenure as army chief comes at a time when Pakistan is facing a collapsing economy and other challenges. His appointment coincides with a spat between the military and former prime minister Khan, who have blamed the military and the United States for a role in his ouster this April.
Khan pushed away Munir As head of ISI when he was Prime Minister. Munir is currently posted as Quartermaster General in charge of all army supplies at army headquarters in Rawalpindi.
Khan had accused the government of trying to pick favourites. His supporters claimed that the brother of the current prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, who was the prime minister three times, was attacking the election of the new army chief. The government countered that Khan was trying to gain political mileage from the appointment.
Prime Minister Sharif chose Munir from a list of six senior generals sent by the defense ministry on Wednesday. He also appointed Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza, the second-highest-ranking general, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCSC), an inter-service forum that coordinates among the three armed forces.
However, both appointments were made with the permission of President Alvin. After receiving the government’s brief on both candidates for two key military posts, he landed in Lahore to meet party chief Khan.
The party briefly said that Khan and Alvi discussed the appointment of the army chief and that everything will be done in accordance with the law and the Constitution.
The constitution allows the president to delay the appointment of a new army chief for 25 days.
In such a scenario, the government had planned to appoint Munir as the deputy chief of army staff. Alvin’s permission will not be required to do so. The government also considered promoting the lieutenant general to a full-fledged general to extend the tenure of the officer who is nearing retirement. Munir’s retirement is on November 27, two days before Bajwa’s retirement.
The military has historically been recognized as the driving force behind Pakistan’s domestic and foreign policy. Political experts said Munir’s appointment could affect Pakistan’s fragile democracy, its relations with neighboring India and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, as well as policy and relations with China and the United States.