General Asim Munir took over as Pakistan’s new chief of army staff (COAS) on Tuesday, after former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa handed over the “baton of command” to him at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
The military leadership remains continuous when the baton is passed from an outgoing COAS to an incoming one, sending a clear message to the troops.
Gen. Asim Munir is now in charge of the Pakistani Army as the 17th army chief since the change of command.
The chief guest, Gen. Bajwa, and his successor, Gen. Asim Munir, arrived at the location. During the event, he received the guard of honour for the last time while serving as chief of army staff.
During his speech at the occasion, the departing army chief congratulated Gen. Asim Munir on achieving the rank of four stars and becoming army chief.
“Under his leadership, I have full confidence that the army will reach new heights, and his appointment will prove to be a positive for the country,” said Gen. Bajwa. He continued by expressing his happiness at passing over command of the army to Gen. Munir as he retired.
According to Gen. Bajwa, his time in the military began 44 years ago and came to an end today.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Babar Sidhu both attended the ceremony.
In 1986, Gen. Munir received a commission in the 23rd Frontier Force Regiment. He completed the prestigious Mangla 17th Officers Training Course and received the coveted sword of honour.
He is employed at General Headquarters as the quartermaster general at the moment. the Malaysian Armed Forces College in Kuala Lumpur, the Command and Staff College in Quetta, the Fuji School in Japan, and the National Defence University in Islamabad.
He also holds an M. Phil. from the National Defence University in public policy and strategic security management.
The quartermaster general also held positions as chief of staff of the Mangla corps, general staff officer, grade-2, and brigade major of a deployed infantry brigade in Kel, all at the Command and Staff College in Quetta.
Gen. Munir has served as the force commander in Gilgit’s Northern Areas, the corps commander for the 30th Corps, and the 23rd Frontier Force Regiment’s infantry brigade. The new chief of the army has also held the position of DG Military Intelligence.
Gen. Munir was named Inter-Services Intelligence’s director-general in 2018. After that, he served for two years as the corps commander in Gujranwala.
He was assigned to his current position at the GHQ after serving as the corps commander in Gujranwala. Gen. Munir will be the first army general to have served as both the MI and ISI head.
He was appointed on November 24 by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to lead the country’s armed forces. The summary of his appointment was confirmed the same day by President Arif Alvi.