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Gen Bajwa hands over baton of command to Gen Asim

Gen Munir will be the first army chief who has headed Pakistan's two most influential intelligence agencies.



Gen Bajwa hands over baton of command to Gen Asim
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Rawalpindi: After six years of service, the outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa Tuesday handed over the baton of command —also known as the Malacca Cane— to his successor General Syed Asim Munir. 

As per details, the extended tenure of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa is ending today and the stage is all-set for Gen Syed Asim Munir to take charge as the new chief of army staff. 

The COAS carries the command cane with themselves necessarily at various occasions. For example, while saluting the national flag, receiving a guard of honour or witnessing a parade.

The Ministry of Defence would notify him as the new army chief the same day. 

The change of command ceremony was held at the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) at 10 am today as the six-year-long tenure of the military chief ends.

In his final speech as COAS, Gen Bajwa stressed the need for institutions to work together for Pakistan's progress.

Bajwa added that he is proud to be part of one of the bravest armies in the world which never refrained from giving sweat and blood for the sake of the motherland.

Addressing the ceremony, he said, "I am grateful to Allah for granting me the opportunity to serve this great army that nodded to my every command".  

Yesterday, COAS held a farewell meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and during the meeting, the premier praised the outgoing officer for efficiently dealing with the crises in the country during his tenure.  

General Bajwa took charge of the 600,000-strong army for three years in November 2016 after being appointed by Nawaz Sharif and in 2019 he was granted an extension for another three years by Imran Khan. 

General Asim Munir  

Gen Asim Munir joined the Pakistan Army from the Mangala Officers Training School program and then became a commissioned officer in the Frontier Force Regiment. He graduated from the 17th Officers’ Training course with the ‘sword of honour’.

The army chief-designate graduated from Fuji school Japan, Command and Staff College, Quetta, Malaysian Armed Forces College, Kuala Lumpur and National Defence University, Islamabad. 

He has an MPhil degree in Public Policy and Strategic Security Management from National Defence University.

Gen Asim also commanded Infantry Brigade, served as a force commander in Northern Areas, Gilgit and Corps Commander 30 Corps, Gujranwala. 

In 2017, he was appointed the Director-General of Military Intelligence. And a year later—in 2018— he was chosen as the Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). He was elevated to the rank of a three-star general, the same year, but took charge two months later.

Following this, his four-year tenure as Lt. Gen ends on November 27. 

Notably, Gen Munir will be the first ever army chief who has headed Pakistan's two most influential intelligence agencies. 

Pakistan's nuclear-armed army

The military is considered to be Pakistan’s most powerful institution and has ruled the country for more than three decades of the 75 years since it gained independence in 1947. 

The army has seized power three times and directly ruled the Islamic republic for more than three decades, fighting three wars with India along the way. 

It is the world's sixth-largest military measured by active military personnel and consists of three formally uniformed services—the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. 

Pakistan's army chief will play a key role in managing risks of conflict with nuclear-armed rival India on its eastern border while dealing with potential instability and friction with Afghanistan on its western frontier. 

The incoming army chief could potentially play a key role in lowering the political temperature as Pakistan attempts to survive an economic crisis and recover from climate-induced floods.