Note: This article discusses the career & role of current Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) of Pakistan Army General Asim Munir in reshaping future of Pakistan.
It has now been almost two months since General Asim Munir assumed office as the 11th Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (27th November 2022). In this short time frame, Pakistan has gone through various events of national and international significance, but the topic of this article is General Asim Munir, his activities, and his contributions towards the betterment of Pakistan during times of uncertainty.
General Asim Munir’s Background
General Asim Munir began his military career in 1986, he is from the 17th course of the Officers Training School (OTS) in Mangla and was commissioned in the 23rd Battalion of the Frontier Force (FF) Regiment. After having diligently served many years he got promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in September 2018 and was subsequently appointed as DG ISI (previously served as Director General of Military Intelligence).
Later next year in June 2019, then Lieutenant General Asim Munir was appointed as Corps Commander of XXX Corps in Gujranwala. He finally he became a four star General on the 24th of November 2022, becoming COAS on the 27th of November. He is also the proud recipient of both the Hilal-i-Imtiaz and Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military).
General Asim Munir’s activities as COAS-December 2022
General Asim Munir started of his tenure by visiting the Line of Control LOC, Western Border with Afghanistan and Balochistan. During his visit to the frontline soldiers on LOC, he surveyed and assessed the border defenses and publicly declared.
“Let me make it categorically clear, Pakistan’s Armed Forces are ever ready, not only to defend every inch of our motherland, but to take the fight back to the enemy, if ever, war is imposed on us. Any misconception resulting into a misadventure will always be met with full might of our armed forces backed by a resilient nation. The Indian state will never be able to achieve her nefarious designs.”
The result of this statement was a considerable boost in the morale of soldiers and officers alike throughout Pakistan. The statement ignited a spark of nationalism and pride within the majority of Pakistanis who were carefully assessing General Asim Munir’s persona as the supreme commander of the Pakistan army. The following visits to Afghan Border and Balochistan were also morale boosters for the troops deployed in frontline positions.
Going forward in mid-December, the situation regarding increased insurgent attacks and terrorist activities was assessed throughout Pakistan. At the same time, anti-state propaganda had intensified promoting Pakistani soldiers as helpless caused by increased TTP/BLA attacks. It was then under General Asim Muni’s command, Pakistan armed forces ramped up counter-terrorism operations, the result of which was the capture of highly notorious wanted insurgents and large caches of weaponry. This change of direction is most probably a direct consequence of the change in leadership and assessment of the developing situation. How effective this ramp-up in counterterrorism proves will be seen in the coming months, however, this has raised national awareness and reinforced some of the lost public trust in the Pakistan Armed Forces.
General Asim Munir’s activities as COAS-January 2023
January of 2023 has been a busy month for General Asim Munir as he undertook important diplomatic visits to Saudi Arabia and UAE. During these visits, he met with the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE president Mohamed bin Zayed. In both visits, he held talks promoting matters of national mutual interests and military cooperation. During these talks, the topic of the 2022 floods in Pakistan and climate change was also discussed. In solidarity and support of Pakistan’s fight against climate change, both UAE and Saudi Arabia pledged financial support in billions. These secured funds will go a long way in helping Pakistan recover from the 2022 floods and re-stabilize its economy, all of which was possible due to the diplomatic efforts of General Asim Munir.
Going forward General Asim made a few more inspection visits, the most recent of which is his visit to Khuzdar and Basima areas in Balochistan, while interacting with troops General Asim Munir emphasized on maintaining optimum operational readiness to thwart the attempts by foreign-sponsored and supported hostile elements to destabilize Balochistan.
Overall, the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has made various positive contributions to Pakistan in just his initial months, which are of military, diplomatic and economic significance. He has displayed a strong man persona which was highly needed to both raise morale and trust within the Pakistan Armed Forces. As things stand, he has raised expectations of the nation with this performance which is not an easy role to bear.