Outgoing Pak Army chief hands over command to successor

As his six-year-long term at the helm of the Pakistan Army comes to an end, outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa will pass the baton to his successor, General Syed Asim Munir on Tuesday.

The change of command ceremony of the Pakistan Army currently underway at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, The Express Tribune reported.

Additionally, federal ministers, diplomats, dignitaries and journalists have also been invited to the ceremony.

General Munir, the most senior ranking general after his predecessor, was appointed as the new army chief by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on November 24 after much speculation.

General Munir is the 17th COAS to assume the command of the Pakistan Army since the country’s independence.

The newly appointed military chief has served at the country’s two most influential intelligence agencies, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI), The Express Tribune reported.

On Sunday, General Sahir Shamshad Mirza assumed his appointment as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).

General Mirza replaced General Nadeem Raza, assuming what is technically the most senior position in the military but is considered ceremonial.

General Bajwa held separate farewell meetings with the president and prime minister on Monday, who expressed their good wishes to him during their meetings.

Later, the premier held a luncheon in honour of General Bajwa at the Prime Minister’s House.

Shehbaz Sharif appreciated General Bajwa’s services for Pakistan Army, national defence and national interests.

While bidding farewell, the premier noted that the army, under the leadership of Gen Qamar, rendered exemplary services in various crises, including the removal of Pakistan’s name from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list, the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and the climate-induced floods that inundated almost half of the country, The Express Tribune reported.

He said that the armed forces crushed the menace of terrorism with valour and bravery under General Bajwa’s leadership, adding that the outgoing chief took charge of the army during one of history’s toughest moments.

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