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 accepted 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 Employees Committee.
‘Sword of Honour’ winner
Munir joined the Pakistani navy by way of the Mangla Officers Coaching Faculty (OTS) programme, the place he gained the celebrated Sword of Honour, given to the most effective 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 the moment serves because the quartermaster common on the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, is taken into account an officer with an “impeccable popularity” inside the Pakistani navy.
He was made the top of Navy Intelligence (MI) in 2017, the unit mandated to take care of the military’s inside affairs. After his promotion as a three-star common the subsequent 12 months, he was given cost of the nation’s premier spy company, the Inter-Providers Intelligence (ISI).
Nonetheless, his eight-month stint as the top 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 might be tilted towards them,” Muhammed Faisal Khan, an Islamabad-based safety analyst, instructed Al Jazeera.
“The federal government, thus, feared that Khan by way of President Alvi would try and jeopardise the method and make the number of Munir controversial earlier than it might really 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 pondering” 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 companies,” the supply stated.
“The MI expertise will assist him have a look at the military’s inside dynamics, whereas the ISI expertise will serve him nicely for a worldwide outlook in future.”
Singapore-based Pakistan analyst Abdul Basit stated opposite to the reservations of Khan’s PTI celebration, Munir is an expert soldier who will hold the establishment away from politics.
“It’s a proven fact that the navy desires to go away politics however will the politics go away 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-recognized face in Riyadh might nicely be one of many components 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 distinguished operational and tutorial appointments.
Zeeshan, at the moment the director common 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.
“Primarily based on his postings and the outcomes of his programs, it’s fairly evident that he proved himself worthy of the place he’s in the present day,” he instructed Al Jazeera.
Zeeshan stated Munir served as MI head when Bajwa was the military chief and carried out nicely.
“As the top of ISI, nevertheless, he was a bit unlucky to be caught in an evolving political atmosphere. However the truth that he departed in such a swish method when requested to go away 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 largest problem could be to revive the belief and confidence of the nation relating to the military,” he stated.