Thursday Jan 05, 2023
RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir is on an official visit to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) from January 4-10, announced the military’s media wing on Thursday.
This is Gen Munir’s first official trip outside of Pakistan ever since he took charge as the army chief.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the army chief during the visit would be meeting the senior leadership of both countries and discussing matters of mutual interest, military-to-military cooperation and bilateral relations focusing on security-related subjects.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), COAS Asim Munir met with Defence Minister Khalid bin Salman in Riyadh where the two discussed matters of mutual interest.
At the outset of the meeting, the Saudi minister congratulated Gen Asim Munir on his appointment as the new army chief.
"During the meeting, they emphasised the strength and durability of bilateral relations between the two fraternal countries, and discussed military and defence cooperation, and ways to support and enhance them, in addition to discussing the most important regional and international issues of common interest," the SPA said.
Later, Saudi Defence Minister Khalid Bin Salman also shared his picture with the visiting Pakistan army chief.
"We emphasised the strategic partnership between our brotherly countries, reviewed the bilateral military and defence relations, and discussed ways of strengthening our cooperation," he tweeted.
Gen Munir took over the command of the Pakistan Army from Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in November of last year at a ceremony held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
With the change of command, Gen Munir became the 17th army chief.
Gen Munir was commissioned in the 23rd Frontier Force Regiment in 1986. He passed out with the 17th Officers Training course, Mangla and was awarded the coveted sword of honour.
Before taking charge, he was posted as the quartermaster general at the General Head Quarters.
Gen Munir has also served as 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.
Gen Munir has commanded the 23rd Frontier Force Regiment, infantry brigade, and remained as a force commander in Northern Areas, Gilgit.
The army chief has also served as the director general of Military Intelligence (MI).
In 2018, Gen Munir was appointed as the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and later transferred as corps commander Gujranwala.
After heading the Gujranwala corps, he was posted as quartermaster general which was his last assignment before becoming COAS.
Gen Munir graduated from Fuji school Japan, Command and Staff College, Quetta, Malaysian Armed Forces College, Kuala Lumpur and National Defence University, Islamabad.
The general also has M-Phil in Public Policy and Strategic Security Management from National Defence University.
Gen Munir is the first army chief who has headed both — MI and ISI. He is also the first army chief awarded the sword of honour.
Gen Munir is a keen sportsman, avid reader, traveller and also a Hafiz e Quran.