General Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been appointed chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee (CJCSC), and General Asim Munir has been named as the future chief of army staff, according to notifications released on Friday morning.
After President Arif Alvi approved the summary to nominate both of the senior military officers, there was no longer any uncertainty about important military appointments on Thursday evening.
The announcements from the Ministry of Defence stated that as a result, the current CJCSC Gen Nadeem Raza will step down on November 27 and the COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa will retire on November 29.
“In exercise of powers conferred by Article 243(4), (b) of the Constitution […] read with Section 8A of Pakistan Army Act 1952, the president on the advice of the prime minister is pleased to approve the promotion of PA-25031 Lt Gen Syed Asim Munir […] to the rank of General with immediate effect and his appointment as Chief of the Army Staff for a period of three years with effect from 29th November 2022,” a notification read.
Politicians from both the treasury and opposition benches congratulated the military officials after their appointments and expressed confidence in their ability to uphold the nation’s standards.
After being appointed to high-level positions, the two top military officials also met with PM Shehbaz and President Alvi. The government representatives wished them luck in their new roles.
The meetings were held at the Prime Minister’s Office and the Aiwan-e-Sadar, respectively.
The president approved the summary of appointments yesterday evening, but there was some uncertainty because he did not sign it immediately away after sending it to him.
The prime minister departed Islamabad for Lahore to speak with PTI Chairman Imran Khan about the issue at Zaman Park as he forwarded the report to the president.
All eyes were on the meeting after Khan stated that he and President Alvi will act “legally and constitutionally” on the topic in an interview on Wednesday night.
The president left for Islamabad after a long meeting, and PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry indicated the White House would release a statement on his meeting with the PTI leader—another comment that generated rumors.
However, the president approved the summary without further hiccups by evening and also held meetings with both military officials later in the day.
General Asim Munir
Gen. Asim Munir graduated from the Mangala Officers Training School program and enlisted in the Pakistani Army before being commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment.
As a brigadier, he commanded the Northern Areas Force before being selected as the Military Intelligence’s director-general at the beginning of the year. He was appointed as the Inter-Services Intelligence Director-General in 2018.
After that, he served for two years as Corps Commander in Gujranwala. He is currently working at the General Headquarters as the Quarter Master (GHQ).
He will hold the distinction of being the first army chief to have led both the MI and the ISI. Additionally, Gen. Munir will be the first army commander to receive the Sword of Honor.
General Sahir Shamshad Mirza
Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza, a member of the Sindh Regiment, oversaw military operations while Raheel Sharif was still the COAS.
In addition, Gen. Mirza was a member of the coordination team that monitored talks with Afghanistan and coordinated operations against militants in North Waziristan.
Additionally, he was a participant in the Gilgit-Baltistan Reforms Committee. Mirza was chosen to be the Chief of the General Staff after being promoted to Gen. He is currently the Corps Commander for Rawalpindi.
The matter of the army chief’s appointment is crucial in the current political scenario — with Khan striving to come into power again in opposition to the ruling coalition — has been a hot affair since the tabling of the confidence motion against Khan in April.
Outgoing COAS Bajwa was due to retire on November 29, 2019, at the end of his stipulated term, but was given a three-year extension in service by then-prime minister Khan on August 19, 2019.
There had been wide speculation about whether or not Gen Bajwa will seek another extension. However, the COAS indicated several months ago that he plans to retire this year.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) at least a few times confirmed this, and Gen. Bajwa made it clear on two separate occasions that he had no intention of continuing in the position.
Currently, the general is concluding his farewell tour, which he began on November 1 with a stop at Army Air Defence Command and continued the next day with a stop at Armed Forces Strategic Forces Command.