Pakistan gets new army chief, ex-ISI boss Lt Gen Asim Munir

Pakistan’s former spy master and senior-most Lt General Asim Munir was named the new army chief by PM Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday. He will take over from Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on November 29.

Lt Gen Munir has served as head of both the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI), a rare combination in the Pakistan army.

he was removed as ISI chief within eight months on the insistence of then PM Imran Khan in 2019. There was a dispute between the military and former PM Imran Khan, who blames the army for playing a part in his ouster earlier this year

Lt Gen Munir is believed to have approved the plans for 2019 Pulwama terror attack, although he was no longer the DG, ISI, when the attack was carried out.

Lt Gen. Asim Munir’s appointment was made after extended consultations involving the PM’s exiled brother, Nawaz Sharif, in London.

According to one news report, the Pak army had sent a list of five potential candidates to the Prime Minister’s Office. The list did not have the name of Lt Gen Asim, on the ground that he was to retire on November 27, two days before General Bajwa’s tenure ends. Following intervention from the prime minister, a new list of six candidates with Lt Gen Asim’s name was included.