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Pakistani President Green-Lights Intelligence Veteran Munir To Head Powerful Military

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Munir previously headed the Military Intelligence agency from 2012 and later the influential Inter-Services Intelligence agency in 2018-19, making him the first army chief to have ever led both those agencies, according to local media. (file photo)

Pakistani President Arif Alvi has confirmed army and intelligence veteran Lieutenant-General Asim Munir to head the country's powerful military, ending days of intense speculation over who would replace retiring General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif publicly confirmed Alvi's approval of Munir as new army chief of staff based on a summary recommendation from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

"The president has signed" the summary, said Asif, calling it a "good omen" for the country.

Munir has served in northern regions of the country under Bajwa.

Previously he headed the Military Intelligence agency from 2012 and later the influential Inter-Services Intelligence agency in 2018-19, making him the first army chief to have ever led both those agencies, according to local media.

Bajwa led the military for six years but declined to seek a third term.

Imran Khan, the former cricketer and Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf Party leader who was ousted as prime minister in April, has accused the military under Bajwa of interfering in domestic politics, an accusation Bajwa has dismissed.

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