Pakistan PM picks former spymaster as new army chief

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Lieutenant General Asim Munir replaces General Qamar Javed Bajwa who is due to retire this month.

Lt Gen Asim Munir will be Pakistan’s 17th army chief since it declared independence from Britain in 1947.
(W.K. Yousufzai / AP)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has named Lieutenant General Asim Munir as the country’s new army chief, a strong position in the nuclear-armed country of 220 million people.Munir replaces General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is due to retire this month after serving as the Chief of Army Staff since November 2016.”The process has been completed in accordance with the law and Constitution,” Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, told reporters, adding the nomination had been sent to the president for confirmation.In Pakistan, the post of the army chief is considered important because the top general has to deal with multiple domestic security threats as well as the balance of power with arch-rival India, against who Pakistan has fought three wars.Munir, the most senior of six officers considered for the top job, previously served as head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), country’s top spy agency.He served as the ISI chief under former prime minister Imran Khan, but his stint ended in June 2019 after just eight months. Defence Minister Khawaja said Munir’s name had been sent to President Arif Alvi for approval.
Source: AFP

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