Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan on Wednesday greeted new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Asim Munir, and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, stating that he hopes that the “prevailing trust deficit” will end with the new military appointments, media reports said.
Sharing his thoughts in a tweet, the former Prime Minister said, “Congratulations to Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as new CJCSC & Gen Syed Asim Munir as new COAS,” Express Tribune reported.
“We hope new military leadership will work to end prevailing trust deficit that has built up in last eight months between the nation and the state. Strength of the state is derived from its people,” the PTI chief added.
Along with the tweet, Khan also shared a quote by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that said, “The armed forces are the servants of the people and you do not make national policy; it is we, the civilians, who decide these issues.”
The change of command in the Army came at a time when the country is facing multiple challenges, including deepening political crises, a resurgence of militancy. However, for Gen Munir, many observers believe, the single biggest challenge is to restore the public image of the security establishment, Express Tribune reported.
Under General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s six-year extended tenure as Army chief, the Army faced criticism first from the PML-N, when it was in the opposition, and now from the PTI, the party of former Prime Minister Khan.
Gen Munir is thought to be one of the officers, who strongly advocated for the army to stay neutral when the state institution was coming under increased scrutiny for its alleged meddling in politics, Express Tribune reported.
The coalition government led by Prime Minister Shebhaz Sharif, who appointed Gen Munir as Army chief, hoped that the Army, under his command, will no longer play a role in politics.