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 authorised 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 submit of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Committee.
‘Sword of Honour’ winner
Munir joined the Pakistani navy by means of the Mangla Officers Coaching Faculty (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 normal on the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, is taken into account an officer with an “impeccable repute” 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 inner affairs. After his promotion as a three-star normal the subsequent 12 months, he was given cost of the nation’s premier spy company, the Inter-Companies Intelligence (ISI).
Nevertheless, 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 in opposition to them,” Muhammed Faisal Khan, an Islamabad-based safety analyst, informed Al Jazeera.
“The federal government, thus, feared that Khan by means 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 informed 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 companies,” the supply stated.
“The MI expertise will assist him take a look at the military’s inner dynamics, whereas the ISI expertise will serve him properly for a world 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 hold the establishment away from politics.
“It’s a proven fact that the navy desires to depart politics however will the politics go away the navy is a query to ponder over,” he informed Al Jazeera.
Munir has beforehand served in Saudi Arabia, considered one of 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 properly 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 present the director normal 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 at present,” he informed Al Jazeera.
Zeeshan stated Munir served as MI head when Bajwa was the military chief and carried out properly.
“As the top of ISI, nevertheless, he was a bit unlucky to be caught in an evolving political surroundings. However the truth that he departed in such a swish method when requested to depart speaks volumes about his maturity,” Zeeshan stated.
On the challenges forward for Munir, the retired brigadier stated these are troublesome instances within the nation.
“In my view, his greatest problem could be to revive the belief and confidence of the nation relating to the military,” he stated.