Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir has been appointed as the next chief of the Pakistan Army amid speculation and controversy. The lieutenant general will hold arguably the most powerful post in the country. He will take over the reins from outgoing General Qamar Javed Bajwa on November 29. General Bajwa is retiring after completing his six-year tenure.
Lt Gen Munir's appointment comes at a time when a feud is raging between the military and former prime minister Imran Khan, who saw the army's hand in his ouster earlier this year. “It is based on merit, law and as per constitution,” Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said after announcing Lt. Gen. Munir as the new chief.
Lt. Gen. Munir will be the Chief of the 17th Pakistan Army from 1947. He completed the 17th course of the officers' school in Mangla and was assigned to the 23rd battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment. He started his military career in 1986. In September 2018, Lt. Gen. Munir was promoted to the rank of three-star general. In fact, his four-year tenure as lieutenant general ends on November 27.
At the beginning of 2017, he was appointed Director General of Military Intelligence and served in the position for 21 months. In October 2018, he was appointed as the head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the country's premier intelligence agency. He served as the ISI chief for just eight months before being removed from the post. This was around the time of the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel in February 2019, causing tensions between India and Pakistan to escalate.