Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has appointed the country’s former spy chief as head of the country’s army, the information minister said on Thursday.
Maryam Aurangzeb tweeted Sharif’s decision to appoint Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir as the new army chief shortly after the prime minister chaired a crucial cabinet meeting in Islamabad’s capital. Munir would replace the retiring army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The information minister said Sharif had also decided to appoint Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
The latest development comes a week before Bajwa is set to step down after completing his extended six-year term. However, it was unclear whether Alvi would immediately approve the appointments, as he is a former member of the country’s opposition leader Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
Historically, the Pakistan Army has wielded great political influence and ruled the country for half its 75-year history.