Syed Asim Munir: Pakistan to nominate former spy chief as new military chief

Islamabad, Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday named the previous spy chief. Gen. Syed Asim Munir because the South Asian nation’s military chief, ending weeks of hypothesis over an appointment that comes amid intense debate over the army’s affect in public life.

In a Twitter publish, Data Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb mentioned Munir’s appointment can be ratified as soon as the nation’s president indicators a quick despatched by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Munir, a former chief of the nation’s Inter-Providers Intelligence (ISI) company, will take over from the military chief basic. Qamar Javed Bajwa, who will retire on November 29 after six years in what is often a three-year publish.

Pakistan’s army is commonly accused of meddling within the politics of a rustic that has seen quite a few coups and been dominated by generals for lengthy intervals since its formation in 1947, so the appointment of recent military chiefs is commonly a extremely politicized situation.

Munir’s appointment may show controversial amongst supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan, who was ousted from workplace in April after shedding the assist of key political allies and the army amid accusations that he had mismanaged the economic system.

Munir was dismissed from his workplace on the ISI throughout Khan’s tenure and the previous prime minister has beforehand claimed – with out proof – that the Pakistani military and Sharif conspired with the USA to take away him from energy. After Khan was injured in a gun assault at a political rally in early November, he additionally accused a senior army intelligence officer – with out proof – of planning his assassination.

Each the Pakistani army and US officers have denied Khan’s claims.

Khan has but to touch upon Munir’s appointment, though his social gathering Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) mentioned in a tweet on Thursday that it will “act in accordance with the structure and legal guidelines”.

Khan apart, the brand new military chief may have quite a bit on his plate, coming into workplace at a time when, along with a burgeoning financial disaster, Pakistan is coping with the aftermath of the worst floods in its historical past. It’ll additionally should navigate the nation’s notoriously rocky relationship with neighboring India.

On Wednesday, outgoing military chief Bajwa mentioned the military was usually criticized regardless of being busy “serving the nation”. He mentioned one of many primary causes for this was the army’s historic “interference” in Pakistani politics, which he referred to as “unconstitutional”.

He mentioned that in February this yr the army institution “determined to not intervene in politics” and was “unyielding” in sustaining this place.

Pakistan, a nation of 220 million folks, has been dominated by 4 completely different army rulers and has seen three army coups because it was fashioned. No prime minister has ever accomplished a full five-year time period underneath the present 1973 structure.

Uzair Younus, director of the Pakistan Initiative on the Atlantic Council, mentioned the army establishment had “misplaced lots of its fame” and the brand new chief had many battles forward.

“In historic phrases, a military chief wants three months to settle into his position, the brand new chief might not have that privilege,” Younus mentioned. “With the continued political polarization there could also be a temptation to intervene politically once more.”

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