The federal government Thursday morning announced that Lieutenant General Asim Munir would become Pakistan’s next army chief, replacing General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, using his Constitutional right, has also appointed Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
After weeks of intense speculation and rumours, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday chose Lt Gen Asim Munir as the new chief of army staff (COAS).
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb made the announcement on Twitter, saying the premier had made the choice while exercising his constitutional powers. She further said that Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza had been picked as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
وزیراعظم پاکستان محمد شہباز شریف نے آئینی اختیار استعمال کرتے ہوئے لیفٹنٹ جنرل ساحر شمشاد مرزا کو چئیرمین جوائنٹ چیفس آف سٹاف اور لیفٹنٹ جنرل سید عاصم منیر کو چیف آف دی آرمی سٹاف مقرر کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا ہے۔ اس بابت سمری صدر پاکستان کو ارسال کر دی گئی ہے۔
— Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) November 24, 2022
She went on to say that a summary of the same had been sent to President Arif Alvi.
Speaking to the media minutes after the announcement was made, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the matter had been decided according to the law and the Constitution, calling on the nation to refrain from viewing it through a “political lens”.
He expressed the hope that the president would not make the appointments “controversial” and would endorse the advice of the premier.
The defence minister reiterated that the president should endorse the premier’s advice so that a “controversy may not arise”. “This will also help our country and the economy to get on track. Currently, everything is at a standstill.”
ایڈوائس صدر علوی کے پاس چلی گئی ھے.اب عمران خان کا امتحان ھے وہ دفاع وطن کے ادارے کو مضبوط بنانا چاہتا ھے یا متنازعہ. صدر علوی کی بھی آزمائش ھے کے وہ سیاسی ایڈوائس پہ عمل کرینگےیاآئینی وقانونی ایڈوائس پہ. بحیثیت افواج کےسپریم کمانڈرادارے کو سیاسی تنازعات سےمحفوظ رکھنا انکا فرض ھے
— Khawaja M. Asif (@KhawajaMAsif) November 24, 2022
He expressed the same in a tweet, saying that the advice had been forwarded to the president. He went on to say that it would now be a test for former premier Imran Khan where he could either strengthen the institution responsible for defending the country or make it controversial.
“This is also a test for President Alvi, whether he will follow political advice or the constitutional and legal advice,” he said. “As the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, it is his duty to protect the country from political conflicts,” he said about Alvi.