Pakistan names a brand new army chief amid bitter political feuding


Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir, seen right here on Nov. 1, has been appointed to exchange Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa as Pakistan’s military chief when Bajwa completes his tenure on Nov. 29. Munir, the previous head of Pakistan’s intelligence, is beginning his new job. position amid a bitter row between Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan has accused Bajwa of enjoying a job in his dismissal, which Bajwa has denied.

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Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir, seen right here on Nov. 1, has been appointed to exchange Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa as Pakistan’s military chief when Bajwa completes his tenure on Nov. 29. Munir, the previous head of Pakistan’s intelligence, is beginning his new job. position amid a bitter row between Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan has accused Bajwa of enjoying a job in his dismissal, which Bajwa has denied.

WK Yousufzai/AP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has appointed the nation’s former intelligence chief as military chief, the knowledge minister mentioned Thursday, ending months of hypothesis in regards to the new appointment.

The army has traditionally wielded huge political affect in Pakistan, ruling it for half of its 75-year historical past, and likewise oversees the nation’s nuclear program. Like neighboring China and India, Pakistan additionally has nuclear arsenals and a missile system that’s primarily aimed toward India.

Lt Gen Syed Asim Munir replaces Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, who completes his prolonged tenure of six years on November 29. Munir begins his new put up amid a bitter row between Sharif and former prime minister Imran Khan. Khan has publicly accused Bajwa of enjoying a job in his ouster, a cost the outgoing military chief has denied.

Pakistan Military Chief Common Qamar Javed Bajwa arrives at a army parade to mark Pakistan’s Nationwide Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 23, 2022. He retires early subsequent week.

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Pakistan Military Chief Common Qamar Javed Bajwa arrives at a army parade to mark Pakistan’s Nationwide Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 23, 2022. He retires early subsequent week.

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Khan desires early elections and Sharif’s resignation. Sharif, who changed Khan in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April, rejected the demand, saying the following election can be held as scheduled in 2023.

There was no quick remark from Khan about Munir, who was director normal of interagency intelligence when Khan was in workplace. Khan fired Munir with out rationalization.

Protection Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif instructed reporters on Thursday that Munir’s nomination as military chief was “based mostly on benefit, legislation and the structure”. He mentioned he hoped Alvi wouldn’t make the important thing appointments “controversial” and would verify Sharif’s determination with none delay.

“It is going to additionally assist our nation and financial system get again heading in the right direction, as a result of proper now every thing is at a standstill,” he mentioned.

Senior political analyst Azim Chaudhry instructed The Related Press that Munir held key positions underneath Bajwa, together with head of army intelligence. He mentioned he hoped the brand new military chief would maintain the army out of politics, consistent with Bajwa’s insurance policies.

Info Minister Maryam Aurangzeb additionally mentioned Sharif had appointed Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers to exchange Gen. Nadeem Raza, who’s retiring this week.

It’s not clear whether or not President Arif Alvi will instantly approve the appointments, as he’s a former member of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf celebration. On Thursday, Alvi and Khan met in Lahore to debate Munir’s candidacy. Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf celebration didn’t touch upon the assembly. Alvey was anticipated to make an announcement about his appointment later Thursday.

In response to constitutional consultants, Alvi was obliged to approve the appointments.

Senior constitutionalist Aitzaz Ahsan mentioned that Alvi can delay the affirmation of appointments for 25 days.

Inside Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan additionally mentioned Thursday that Sharif had promoted Munir to the rank of four-star normal on Thursday and that Munir wouldn’t retire this week even when Alvi delayed confirming his appointment as military chief.

Khan prolonged Bajwa’s time period into 2019 amid rising tensions with India. However Khan later fell out with Bajwa over the appointment of the nation’s new intelligence chief, changing Lt. Gen. Faiz Hamid. These variations continued till Khan was deposed.

Since then, Khan has accused Bajwa of conspiring with the US to power the autumn of his authorities, which Washington, Sharif and the army have repeatedly denied.

Bajwa, in a latest televised tackle at a military gathering, termed Khan’s claims as a “pretend story”.

“If there was a overseas conspiracy, we’d have remained silent, it could have been an awesome sin,” he mentioned with out mentioning Khan’s title.

Bajwa mentioned on Wednesday that the army had thus far exercised restraint however appeared to have issued a veiled warning to Khan.

“Keep in mind there’s a restrict to endurance,” Bajwa mentioned.

Alvi held at the least one assembly between Khan and Bajwa within the capital, Islamabad, as a part of efforts to reconcile them. However authorities and army officers say Alvi’s efforts failed as Khan continued to stage accusations at Bajwa.

The previous cricket hero led a protest march from the japanese metropolis of Lahore on October 28 earlier than escaping a gun assault that killed a bystander and injured 13 others. Since then, Khan’s protest march has been shifting in convoys to Islamabad with out him.

Khan is predicted to steer a protest march from the town of Rawalpindi on November 26.



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