ISLAMABAD: The extended tenure of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa is ending today and he is handing over the baton of command to new COAS General Syed Asim Munir.
General Bajwa was appointed army chief in 2016 by Nawaz Sharif and in 2019 he got extension for another three years from Imran Khan.
A grand ceremony is going on at GHQ wherein General Bajwa will hand over “baton of command” to Gen Syed Asim Munir. Last week General Asim Munir was appointed as the successor of Bajwa and he is the 17th army chief.
The change of command ceremony is being held at the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters at 9am today, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
Several diplomats and foreign military officials are witnessing the change of command at GHQ in Rawalpindi this morning.
On Monday, outgoing COAS held a farewell meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and during meeting, PM Shehbaz praised the outgoing COAS for efficiently dealing with the “crises” in the country during his six-year-long tenure.
Premier said, “The army, under the leadership of Gen Bajwa, has rendered exemplary services during various crises — including the removal of Pakistan from the FATF’s (Financial Action Task Force) grey list, coronavirus pandemic, and floods.”
In a meeting at the President’s House, Dr Alvi paid tribute to Gen Bajwa for his exceptional services to the nation against all external and internal threats.
The incoming army chief
Gen Munir — who is currently posted as the quartermaster general at the GHQ — was commissioned in the 23rd Frontier Force Regiment in 1986. He graduated from the 17th Officers’ Training course, Mangla, 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 also has an MPhil degree in Public Policy and Strategic Security Management from National Defence University.
The quartermaster general was also posted as a directing staff in Command and Staff College, Quetta, brigade major of a deployed infantry brigade in Kel, general staff officer, grade-2, CGS secretariat and chief of staff of Mangla corps.
General Munir has commanded the 23rd Frontier Force Regiment, Infantry Brigade, served as a force commander in Northern Areas, Gilgit and Corps Commander 30 Corps, Gujranwala.
The incoming army chief has also served as the director general of Military Intelligence.
In 2018, Gen Munir was appointed as the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence.
Following this, he was posted as corps commander Gujranwala for two years. After heading the Gujranwala corps he was posted at his present assignment at the GHQ.
Gen Munir will become the first army chief who has headed both the MI and the ISI. He will also be the first army chief awarded the Sword of Honour.
The army chief designate is a keen sportsman, avid reader, and traveller.