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HomeNationalFormer spymaster named new army chief MIGMG News

Former spymaster named new army chief MIGMG News

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Migmg news

Pakistan’s government on Thursday nominated a former spymaster to be its next military chief, a position long seen as the real power in the nuclear-armed nation of 220 million people.

Syed Asim Munir, currently the Major General, will replace General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is due to retire this month after serving as the Chief of Army Staff since November 2016.

“The process has been completed in accordance with the law and the constitution,” Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif told reporters, adding that the nomination had been sent to the president for confirmation.

Pakistan’s military, the world’s sixth largest, has disproportionate influence over the nation and has staged three coups since independence in 1947, ruling for more than three decades.

Even during periods of civilian rule, the army chief has long been considered the true king-maker and the appointment carries enormous political significance.

The army chief also has to deal with multiple domestic security threats as well as the balance of power with arch-rival India, against which Pakistan has fought three wars.

Munir, the most senior of the six officers considered for the top job, previously served as the chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy bureau.

He takes office at a time when Pakistan is wracked by political strife, with former Prime Minister Imran Khan rallying supporters to stage mass protests, pressuring the government to call early elections.

Imran Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote in April after the economy fell into disrepair and he lost the support of the military’s top brass.

Earlier this month he was gunned down at a rally in Wazirabad, an assassination attempt he claims was ordered by his successor Shehbaz Sharif in collaboration with a senior officer.

Munir served as ISI chief under Imran Khan, but his tenure ended in June 2019 after just eight months following a reported spat with the former cricket star.

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said Munir’s name had been sent to President Arif Alvi — a strong ally of Khan — for approval. But he warned, Alvi “should not act under political influence” in considering the nomination.

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