Pak Army Chief’s Record – And Why It’s So Relevant To India

Army Commander Pak's Profile - And Why Is It Involved In India

Asim Munir will replace General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who will retire at the end of this month after a six-year term.


Pakistan appoints Lieutenant General Asim Munir as head of its nuclear-armed army, the most powerful body in a country that rarely faces the next crisis.

The appointment could have an important effect on the future of Pakistan’s fragile democracy, and whether relations with India are allowed to improve.

Role of the military in Pakistan

During the 75 years since independence and the formation of Pakistan from the Partition of India, the military has thrice come to power and directly ruled the Islamic republic for more than three decades, waging three wars. compete with India along the way.

Even when a civilian government is in power, Pakistan’s generals still have dominant influence over security and foreign affairs.

Who is Asim Munir?

Munir will replace General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who will retire at the end of this month after a six-year term.

Munir has served in Pakistani-occupied Kashmir and also in Saudi Arabia, a country that is a major financial supporter of Pakistan.

He then headed Pakistan’s two most influential intelligence agencies – Military Intelligence (MI) in 2017 and then Interagency Intelligence (ISI) in 2018. He was sacked as ISI director. only after 8 months at the request of then Prime Minister Imran Khan. No reason was given for his removal.

Munir currently holds the position of commander-in-chief of the army, in charge of supplies.

Why is it important globally?

Pakistan’s military chief will play a key role in managing the risk of conflict with nuclear-armed adversary India on its eastern border, while also dealing with potential instability and friction with the country. Afghanistan on the western border.

Many of the world’s capitals, including Washington and Beijing, have direct ties to the Pakistani military, due to the country’s strategic location in a volatile neighborhood and coastline close to major highways. major shipping service serving the oil-rich Gulf.

Foreign governments have periodically questioned the safety of nuclear arsenals, including long-range missiles, in a country frequently in need of IMF bailout and where anti-Western terrorist groups West and anti-India have proliferated.

And internal security is almost a regular issue due to uprisings in the ethnic regions of Pashtun and Baloch.

Despite all the risks, Pakistan and its military have dismissed foreign concerns about the country’s command and control and security of nuclear weapons.

Why is this appointment important in the country?

The military has long been accused of manipulating the democratic process to maintain its dominance. Nineteen of Pakistan’s 30 prime ministers were elected, but none of them completed their five-year terms.

Having recently admitted to its past of meddling in politics, the military said it would no longer interfere. Whether the new leader keeps that commitment could be key to Pakistan’s democratic development.

Pakistan is in the midst of another period of political turmoil as Khan has led nationwide protests in an attempt to force Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to call early elections.

The incoming army chief is likely to play a key role in political cooling as Pakistan tries to survive the economic crisis and recover from historic flooding.

Bajwa .’s legacy

Bajwa seeks to balance relations with China and the United States. As Islamabad moves closer to Beijing, Bajwa also works to thaw ties with Washington, with whom he worked closely during the 2021 evacuation of Kabul as Western forces withdraw from Afghanistan.

Bajwa is also actively interested in economic issues, as well as how much budget he can give to the army.

He made highly publicized visits to Beijing and the Middle East – helping secure financial support for Pakistan. He also lobbied Washington to help reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

He even summoned leading Pakistani industrialists to a meeting at army headquarters to encourage them to pay more taxes.

During his tenure, India and Pakistan engaged in aerial skirmishes in 2019, but he is a public proponent of better relations and avoiding escalation when tensions are high, such as when a missile strikes. of India accidentally crashed into Pakistani territory this year.

In early 2021, Bajwa approved the restoration of the ceasefire with Delhi in Kashmir.

Domestically, he was accused of political interference. Politicians say he helped former cricketer Imran Khan become prime minister in 2018. In a twist earlier this year, Khan accused Bajwa of being involved in his downfall.

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