Uncertainty surrounding key appointments in the military ended after President Arif Alvi on Nov 24 signed the summary and approved the appointment of Lieutenant General Asim Munir as the next chief of army staff and Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
Earlier today, the government announced that Lt Gen Asim Munir had been chosen by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to become Pakistan’s next army chief, replacing General Qamar Javed Bajwa — ending the ongoing speculations.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed on Twitter that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, using his Constitutional right, had also named Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
Sources told Geo News that the President’s Secretariat has received the summary of the appointment — of the officers, who are among the senior-most military officers at the moment.
The decision was announced after PM Shehbaz held a federal cabinet meeting earlier today to mull over the high-profile appointments after the allied parties authorised him to pick the officers for the top slots.
PM Shehbaz’s nominee for the army chief has also been retained by the federal government under the Pakistan Army Act, according to sources, as he was about to retire later this month.
Lt Gen Munir, who was also Pakistan’s chief spy, will take over from outgoing COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who retires later this month after a six-year term.
COAS Gen Bajwa, who was appointed as the army chief in 2016, will retire on November 29. He was initially set to hang up his boots in 2019, but the PTI-led government gave him a three-year extension.
Asif hopes for no ‘controversy’
Speaking to the media after the meeting of the federal cabinet, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also confirmed that the summary had been sent to the president.
“All the matters have been settled in line with the Constitution of Pakistan and hopefully the president will not create a controversy,” Asif said. The minister expected President Alvi to approve the premier’s advice as per Consitution and law.
He expressed hope that the said appointments would not be entertained on political advice.
The minister refused to comment on PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s consultation with President Alvi over the matter. He said that he has tweeted on the matter.