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Pak army chief Munir takes active part in politics, despite Bajwa’s vow to keep forces away: Report

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 20th January, 2023 06:50:56 PM
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Pak army chief Munir takes active part in politics, despite Bajwa’s vow to keep forces away: Report
Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir

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Pakistan Former Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, as the outgoing army chief of Pakistan had committed to keeping the force away from politics. However, his successor General Asim Munir is doing quite the opposite, Policy Research Group (Poreg) reported.

General Bajwa had spoken about the army’s ‘unconstitutional interference’ in Pakistan’s political life and vowed that army in future will remain neutral.

In his farewell speech, General Bajwa said, “The army will never again interfere in any political matter. I assure you we are strictly committed to it.” However, within days of taking over, General Munir placed his men in key positions including the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) and PR wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces, as per the news report.

General Asim Munir visited forces on the western and eastern borders of Pakistan and interacted with the American defence hierarchy. According to Poreg report, “In what was no more than a demonstration of who the boss is in Pakistan, he dashed off to friendly Islamic countries in the Gulf region.”

General Munir visited Saudi Arabia and followed up the army’s pursuit of Saudi patronage by meeting with the country’s Crown Prince and Defence Minister Khalid bin Salman, as per the news report. The details regarding the meeting have not been released in the public domain.

General Asim Munir travelled to the United Arab Emirates and met with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. The two sides discussed security matters, economic issues, including Pakistan’s desperate need for security help to tackle the forex crisis.

Munir’s visit to UAE came after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was not able to garner support from the Gulf nation. As per the news report, it is not a coincidence that Sharif travelled to UAE on January 10, the last day of Munir’s stay in UAE to finalise a USD 3 billion package to rescue Pakistan.

General Munir and his men have been “active on the home front” as well. As per the news report, the three priorities of General Munir include the “Marginalization of army’s one-time protege, Imran Khan Niazi,” “Keep Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s multi-party coalition (Pakistan Democratic Movement, PDM) weak,” “Creation of new political actors,” according to Poreg report.

The report said that the Generals want to keep former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to be tied down in different cases and want him to remain caught in a legal quagmire. The Pakistani army has been using PML-Q led by the Chaudhary brothers to outwit him.

One constituent of PDM is being kept against the other for keeping Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif’s Pakistan’s Democratic Movement weak. Munir has been quick to fill up the leadership role in key international negotiations as Sharif so far has not been able to tackle challenges, according to Poreg report.

The Pakistan army is also helping former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to consolidate his foot-hold in Balochistan. Munir and his team has started making efforts on mixing and merging factions of an old ally, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). (ANI)