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Change of Guards

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Change of Guards

General Asim Munir، General Sahir Shamshad

  • Son of a schoolteacher, General Asim Munir hails from a small family within the garrison town of Rawalpindi.
  • Joined Pak army directly through the Officers Training School programme in Mangla rather than the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul.
  • Was subsequently commissioned into the military’s Frontier Force Regiment.
  • Received a prestigious award for officers known as the ‘Sword of Honour’ as top of his year at the military academy.
  • Served as a commander in the Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA) as a Brigadier. The FCNA falls under the command of the X Corps.
  • Appointed Director General of Military Intelligence (MI) in 2017
  • Served as DG ISI from October 2018 to June 2019
  • Only the second army chief who also remained head of Pakistan’s premier spy agency ISI, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani was the other COAS who served as DG ISI.
  • Commanded the XXX Corps, known as Triple X Corps – a major wing of the Pakistan army
  • Was posted as Gujranwala Corps commander, a position he held for two years, before being moved to the General Headquarters as the Quartermaster General.
  • Has been closely involved in shaping the Pakistan’s security policies
  • Recipient of Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence), one of the highest honours given to both civilians and military officers of the Pakistan Armed Forces

Gen Asim was considered as a frontrunner as the government indicated that the principle of seniority would take precedence this time in the appointment of a new chief. By all accounts, Munir is an “outstanding officer” and was recently described by Shuja Nawaz, the author of ‘Crossed Swords’, a detailed account of the Pakistan Army’s internal role, as “a straight arrow”.

  • Was born at Malhal Mughlan, a village in District Chakwal
  • Before he got young, his parents had died. He then continued his studies with devotion. He has no sibling alive.
  • Started his army career in 1987 in Sindh Regiment after training at Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul. He got the address of his unit registered in place of his house address during the PMA Long Course
  • Served as the director-general of the military operations under former COAS Raheel Sharif from 2015-2018. In that role, he was part of Gen Sharif’s core team at the General Headquarters, which supervised the military operation against the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other militants in North Waziristan.
  • Was closely involved in the Quadrilateral Coordination Group that brokered intra-Afghan talks involving Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and the United States
  • Was a member of the Sartaj Aziz-led committee on reforms for Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Was appointed the Vice Chief of the General Staff in 2018
  • Was appointed, in 2019, Chief of General Staff, effectively making him the second-most powerful person in the army after the COAS. The CGS is known as the de facto army chief since he heads both the operational and intelligence directorates.
  • Was posted as corps commander Rawalpindi in October 2021, to enable him to acquire operational experience and become eligible to be considered for top posts.
  • Served in GOC Infantry Division, Okara, and for a brief period as the General Headquarters Adjutant General.
  • General Mirza took charge as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) on November 27, in an impressive ceremony held at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi.

Those who know Gen Mirza closely say he enjoys a good reputation in the army. He is not involved in any controversy and there was not much debate about his candidature.

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