PM decided to appoint Lt Gen Asim Munir as new army chief and Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad as CJCSC

 Prime Minister Office send the summary to President Arif Alvi for formal approval

Finally, the government announced today November 24 to appoint Lieutenant General Asim Munir as the new chief of army staff of Pakistan. This announcement came after the meeting of federal cabinet under the chair of PM Shahbaz Sharif.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to appoint Lt General Asim Munir as the army chief and Lt General Sahir Shamshad Mirza as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed. Taking to Twitter, Aurangzeb said that the summary for the appointments has been sent to President Arif Alvi.

General Asim Munir will take charge on November 29 after the retirement of  army chief General Qamar Bajwa. But this ceremony will take place after the approval of  the president. 

Lt Gen Asim Munir is the senior most three star general and Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza is the second most senior three star general on the seniority list. After the long time, two senior most three star generals have been promoted as four star generals.   

This announcement will end the week’s long speculations about this all important appointment. Pakistan Army is the most powerful institution in the country and its chief enjoys lot of power. Army has ruled Pakistan directly nearly half of its history. 

Pakistan is among the few countries in the world where appointment of army chief is attract so much attention. Lot of public discussion took place around this appointment because Imran Khan tried to put pressure on the both the government and the military leadership. Imran Khan wants to appoint Lt Gen Faiz Hameed as the new army chief. 

In a media talk and tweet posted immediately after the announcement, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the “advice” over the appointments had been forwarded to President Alvi.

He expressed the hope that President Alvi wouldn't make the appointments “controversial” and would endorse the advice of PM Shehbaz.

"All the matters have been settled in line with the Constitution of Pakistan and hopefully the president will not create a controversy," Asif told reporters.

The minister refused to comment on PTI Chairman Imran Khan's claim of consultation with President Alvi over the matter. He said that he has tweeted on the matter.

He said that the Pakistan Air Force, navy, and army shouldn't be made controversial. Asif said that a detailed press release regarding the development will be issued.

"Now, it’s a test [for] Imran Khan if he wants to strengthen the national defence institution or make it controversial. It is also a test for President Alvi on whether he will follow political advice or constitutional and legal advice," Asif wrote on Twitter.

PTI chairman Imran Khan’s statement regarding the appointment of army chief has created some doubts about the role of the president. “I am in contact with the president over the summary related to a key appointment,” the PTI chief told an anchor of a private TV channel. He will discuss everything with me. The prime minister goes to an absconder so I am a party head. He will absolutely discuss [the matter] with me.”

President has to given the formal approval of the summary of appointment of army chief and CJCSC. According to the constitution, president can take up to 15 days to give approval of the summary. 


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