Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has nominated Lieutenant Common Asim Munir as the brand new military chief, placing an finish to days of uncertainty that engulfed the nation.
Munir, whose nomination was accredited by President Arif Alvi on Thursday night, takes cost of the 600,000-strong nuclear-armed military on November 29 when incumbent Common Qamar Javed Bajwa retires after a six-year stint.
Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad was nominated for the put up of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers Committee.
‘Sword of Honour’ winner
Munir joined the Pakistani navy via the Mangla Officers Coaching College (OTS) programme, the place he received the celebrated Sword of Honour, given to the perfect performing cadet.
He has commanded a division which overlooks Pakistan’s northern areas, together with the disputed area of Kashmir, the place he labored in tandem with Bajwa, who then headed the Pakistan military’s elite X Corps.
Munir, who at present serves because the quartermaster basic on the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, is taken into account an officer with an “impeccable status” throughout the Pakistani navy.
He was made the pinnacle of Army Intelligence (MI) in 2017, the unit mandated to take care of the military’s inside affairs. After his promotion as a three-star basic the subsequent yr, he was given cost of the nation’s premier spy company, the Inter-Providers Intelligence (ISI).
Nevertheless, his eight-month stint as the pinnacle of ISI stays one of many shortest within the military’s historical past. Political commentators stated he was eliminated after falling out with former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Given his stint as head of intelligence [ISI] was shortened by Prime Minister Khan, after each reportedly fell out, PTI [Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party] believes, Munir could possibly be tilted in opposition to them,” Muhammed Faisal Khan, an Islamabad-based safety analyst, instructed Al Jazeera.
“The federal government, thus, feared that Khan via President Alvi would try to jeopardise the method and make the choice of Munir controversial earlier than it might truly take impact,” he stated. Alvi is a founding member of the PTI.
A navy supply instructed Al Jazeera that Munir has a “clear line of considering” and is taken into account apolitical in his strategy.
“He’s a uncommon officer within the sense that he has led each the MI and the ISI. He’s the primary military chief who has headed each the intelligence businesses,” the supply stated.
“The MI expertise will assist him take a look at the military’s inside dynamics, whereas the ISI expertise will serve him effectively for a worldwide outlook in future.”
Singapore-based Pakistan analyst Abdul Basit stated opposite to the reservations of Khan’s PTI occasion, Munir is an expert soldier who will maintain the establishment away from politics.
“It’s a undeniable fact that the navy needs to depart politics however will the politics depart the navy is a query to ponder over,” he instructed Al Jazeera.
Munir has beforehand served in Saudi Arabia, one in all Pakistan’s key allies, Basit added.
Munir was deputed in Saudi Arabia as a part of the Pakistan military’s shut defence cooperation.
“Being a well-known face in Riyadh might effectively be one of many elements which will have influenced his appointment for the highest job,” he stated.
‘Proved himself worthy’
Retired military official Muhammed Zeeshan stated Munir was his senior within the navy and has served on outstanding operational and tutorial appointments.
Zeeshan, at present the director basic of the Centre for Peace, Safety and Developmental Research think-tank in Islamabad, stated Munir’s profession postings present he was groomed for senior positions all through his profession.
“Based mostly on his postings and the outcomes of his programs, it’s fairly evident that he proved himself worthy of the place he’s as we speak,” he instructed Al Jazeera.
Zeeshan stated Munir served as MI head when Bajwa was the military chief and carried out effectively.
“As the pinnacle of ISI, nonetheless, he was a bit unlucky to be caught in an evolving political setting. However the truth that he departed in such a sleek method when requested to depart speaks volumes about his maturity,” Zeeshan stated.
On the challenges forward for Munir, the retired brigadier stated these are tough instances within the nation.
“For my part, his greatest problem could be to revive the belief and confidence of the nation concerning the military,” he stated.