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Exclusive | ‘Ready to Facilitate Pak Govt-Oppn Talks for Stability’: New Army Chief at Commanders’ Meet

Pakistan’s military establishment is ready to intervene in the political process to ensure political and economic stability and avoid any economic default or civil riots, the country’s new army chief General Asim Munir has indicated in the first ‘informal’ top commanders’ meeting.

General Munir, who was briefed about the current crisis and security situation, also discussed Kashmir, Balochistan, and threats from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

According to top military officials, the meeting was held in the General Headquarters on Wednesday where DG ISI, DG MI, DG ISPR and top commanders met and congratulated General Munir. However, Corps Commander Bahawalpur Lt. General did not attend the meeting.

Sources said General Munir will soon appoint his close aides in roles of COAS’ Chief of General Staff (CGS), Quarter Master General (QMG), and Corps Commanders for Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi. These posts fell vacant recently after the retirement of General Bajwa, and change in command and resignation of General Faiz Hameed and General Azhar Abbas respectively.

The top commanders suggested the country needs a ‘charter for economic and political stability’ to avoid any economic default or civil riots in Pakistan.

The top commanders are also ready to facilitate government and opposition talks for stability apart from taking strong action against the TTP.

They also took a comprehensive review of the prevailing internal and external security situation, especially in Balochistan, Kashmir and on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and operational preparedness of the army. General Munir reiterated the Pakistan Army’s resolve to defend the motherland against all threats.

General Munir entered the service via the Officers Training School programme and was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment. He has been a close aide of Gen Bajwa ever since he commanded troops in the Force Command Northern Areas as a brigadier under the outgoing army chief, who was then Commander X Corps.

General Munir was later appointed Military Intelligence director general in early 2017, and in October next year was made the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief.

However, his stint as the top intelligence officer turned out to be the shortest ever, as he was replaced by Lt Gen Faiz Hamid within eight months, on the insistence of then-PM Imran Khan.

He was posted as Gujranwala Corps commander, a position he held for two years, before being moved to the General Headquarters as the quartermaster general.

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