Pakistan appoints ex-spy grasp Gen. Munir as new military chief

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has named the nation’s former spy chief as head of the navy, the knowledge minister mentioned Thursday, ending months of hypothesis in regards to the new appointment.

The military has traditionally wielded enormous affect in Pakistan, ruling it for half of its 75-year historical past, and likewise oversees its nuclear program. Like neighboring China and India, Pakistan has nuclear arsenals and a missile system, primarily geared toward archrival India.

Asim Munir, who was promoted to four-star basic and whose deliberate retirement was postponed, replaces Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, whose prolonged six-year time period ends on Nov. 29.

Munir begins his new function amid feuding between Sharif and his predecessor, former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The ex-premier has publicly accused Bajwa of taking part in a task in his ouster, a cost the outgoing military chief has denied.

Khan, a former cricket star turned Islamist politician, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April. He’s now within the opposition and has been demanding early elections, claiming his ouster was unlawful and orchestrated by Sharif, with the U.S. authorities’s assist. Sharif and Washington have dismissed the allegations and the present authorities says the subsequent polls will probably be held as scheduled in 2023.

In accordance with Data Minister Maryam Aurangzeb, Sharif additionally named Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza because the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Committee, changing Gen. Nadeem Raza who retires this week.

President Arif Alvi later Thursday endorsed the appointments and congratulated Munir and Mirza on their promotions to four-star generals, in accordance with an announcement from the presidency.

Munir ran the Inter-Companies Intelligence throughout Khan’s time period in workplace however was fired with out an evidence from the then-premier.

Earlier Thursday, Protection Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif instructed reporters that Munir’s appointment was “based on merit, law and according to the constitution.”

Thursday’s appointments, Asif mentioned, would “help our country and the economy to get back on the right track, as right now everything is at a standstill.”

Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf social gathering gave a cautious welcome to the brand new appointment, saying in a tweet it anticipated the brand new navy management to play its half in restoring constitutional rights and the soundness of democracy.

Bajwa, in a current televised tackle at a military gathering, known as Khan’s conspiracy allegations a “false narrative.”

“There is a limit to patience,” Bajwa mentioned Wednesday — apparently a veiled warning towards Khan.

Alvi has hosted at the least one assembly within the capital, Islamabad, between Khan and Bajwa in a failed effort to reconcile them.

In late October, Khan launched a protest march from the japanese metropolis of Lahore towards Islamabad however stepped down from personally main the convoy after he was wounded by a gunman who opened fireplace on the former premier’s automobile. Certainly one of Khan’s supporters was killed and 13 had been wounded within the assault. The gunman was arrested.

Since then, Khan’s protest march has moved towards Islamabad in convoys with out him. Nonetheless, his social gathering introduced Thursday that Khan would rejoin the march in Rawalpindi on Saturday, with tightened safety. Sharif’s authorities says it has alerted Khan’s social gathering about threats to his life.

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