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

Islamabad, Pakistan

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

In a submit on Twitter, Info Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb stated that Munir’s appointment can be ratified as soon as the nation’s president signed off on a abstract despatched by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Munir, former head of the nation’s Inter-Companies Intelligence (ISI) company, will take over from military chief common Qamar Javed Bajwa, who’s retiring on Nov. 29 after six years in what is often a three-year submit.

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

Munir’s appointment might show contentious with supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan, who was ousted in April after dropping the help of key political allies and the army over allegations that he mishandled the economic system.

Munir was faraway from his ISI submit throughout Khan’s tenure and the previous prime minister has beforehand claimed – with out proof – that the Pakistani army and Sharif conspired with america to take away him from energy. After Khan was wounded in a gun assault at a political rally in early November, he additionally accused a senior army intelligence officer — with no 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 nomination, though his occasion, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), stated in a tweet on Thursday it could “act in line with the structure and legal guidelines”.

Khan apart, the brand new military chief could have quite a bit to do, taking workplace at a time when – along with a rising financial disaster – Pakistan is going through the results of the worst floods in its historical past. He may even should navigate the nation’s notoriously troublesome relationship with neighboring India.

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

He stated that in February this 12 months the army institution had “determined to not intervene in politics” and was “adamant” to keep up this place.

Pakistan, a nation of 220 million, has been dominated by 4 completely different army rulers and has seen three army coups because it was shaped. 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, stated the army institution “has misplaced a lot of its status” and that the brand new chief has many battles forward of him.

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