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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 424, 25 November 2022

President approves top Army appointments



Do the appointments put an end to the accusations against the army and politics?

Joel Jacob

On 24 November, President Dr Arif Alvi nominated the next army chief and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). The press release said, “The president has promoted Lieutenant General Syed Asim Munir HI (M) to the rank of General with immediate effect and appointed him as Chief of Army Staff with effect from 29th November 2022 and promoted Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza HI(M) to the rank of General with immediate effect and appointed him as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee with effect from 27th November 2022.” Both Generals were given immediate promotions to four-star ranks due to Lt General Munir’s retirement date. Usually, promotions take effect from the date of assumption of command, but with Lt General Munir’s impending retirement on 27 November, both were given promotions with immediate effect.

Lt General Munir and Lt General Mirza held separate meetings with PM Shehbaz Sharif and President Alvi. He expressed his best wishes for their success as CJCSC and COAS. Both the Generals met PM Shehbaz Sharif at his house. The Prime congratulated and expressed his best wishes for his new responsibilities.” PM Shehbaz Sharif said that under the new leadership, the armed forces would effectively deal with the challenges facing national security and continue to play an important role in completely eliminating terrorism from the country.

President’s consultation with Imran khan
President Alvi met Imran Khan after receiving the summary from the prime minister in Lahore to discuss the army chief’s appointments. He met with Imran Khan along with PTI leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry. Imran Khan via Twitter said, “when the summary comes, I and the president of Pakistan will act according to the Constitution and laws.” This was in accordance with him claiming that President Alvi would “definitely” consult him as soon as the summary for the appointment reaches his office. He also said that the people of Pakistan wanted the armed forces to “stay out” of politics and “not infringe upon” the rights of political parties thereby following the law.

PTI’s stance on the appointment
The PTI said that the new leadership of the armed forces would play its role to strengthen constitutional rights and democracy in the country. The statement said that the events during the last eight months had caused “deep divide” across the country and measures taken during the time had brought “extensive damages” to the country and its state institutions.

Reactions to the appointments
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar called the premier’s selection “based on seniority-cum-merit” and praiseworthy as he congratulated the new appointees. PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan praised party chairman Imran Khan for “always uniting the country”. “He played the role of a leader, and not a traditional politician.” Imran’s former chief of staff Shahbaz Gill said, “The statesmanship shown by President Arif Alvi in the last few months is commendable, Former minister Asad Umar congratulated the newly appointed officers and hoped that their decisions would be in accordance to the aspirations of the nation. (Naveed Siddiqui, “President signs off on top military appointments; Lt Gen Asim Munir to be next army chief,” Dawn, 25 November 2022; “Reactions pour in as Lt Gen Asim Munir named next army chief,” Dawn, 25 November 2022; Amir Wasim, “MNAs hope new COAS will honour promises made by predecessor,” Dawn, 25 November 2022; Anwar Iqbal, “New chief needs to restore public trust in army: US press,” Dawn, 25 November 2022; “PTI dials down rhetoric, hails top military appointments,” The Express Tribune, 25 November 2022; Mansoor Malik, “ ‘Anti-neutrality’ PTI now asks forces to stay out of politics,” Dawn, 25 November 2022; Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Seniority prevails in change of command,” Dawn, 25 November 2022)

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