Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa is set to retire today (Tuesday) after serving six years in office — from 2016-2022.
The outgoing chief will hand over the "baton of command" at a ceremony to Gen Asim Munir, who was appointed last week as COAS Bajwa's successor and will become the 17th army chief.
The august ceremony for the change of command will be held at the Pakistan Army's General Headquarters (GHQ) at 9am today, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement, with former military leaders also participating in the function.
Gen Bajwa called on President Arif Alvi and PM Shehbaz Sharif to formally bid farewell as army chief, with both government officials thanking the COAS for his services.
During his meeting with the army chief, PM Shehbaz praised the outgoing COAS for efficiently dealing with the "crises" in the country during his six-year-long tenure.
"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," the prime minister said.
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.
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.