Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan on Wednesday felicitated the 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” ends with the new military appointments.
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”.
“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, Imran also shared a quote by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that stated that "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".
Congratulations to Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as new CJCSC & Gen Syed Asim Munir as new COAS. We hope new mly ldrship will work to end prevailing trust deficit that has built up in last 8 months between the nation and the State. Strength of the State is derived from its people. pic.twitter.com/5k4fVA2UGb— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) November 30, 2022
The deposed prime minister’s comments come a day after Gen Asim took charge as the 17th Army chief of Pakistan at a ceremony held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
Earlier this week, Geh Sahir also assumed his appointment as the CJCSC at the Joint Staff Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
The challenges for the new chief
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 Asim, many observers believe, the single biggest challenge is to restore the public image of the security establishment.
Under General Bajwa’s six-year extended tenure, the army faced criticism first from the PML-N, when it was in the opposition and now from the party of former prime minister Imran Khan.
Gen Asim 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.
The coalition government led by Prime Minister Shebhaz Sharif, who appointed Gen Asim as army chief, hoped that the army, under his command, will no longer play a role in politics.
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