Gen. Bajwa transfers authority to Gen. Asim Munir, the 17th COAS
Chiefs of all armed forces, senior civil
& military officers attend the ceremony
ISLAMABAD: The change of command ceremony of the Pakistan Army took place at the General Headquarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi, on Tuesday wherein outgoing army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa officially passed the baton to General Syed Asim Munir as the 17th chief of the army staff (COAS) of Pakistan.
The ceremony was attended by federal cabinet members, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Air Chief Zaheer Ahmad Babar Sidhu, and other high-ranking civil and military officials as well as foreign delegates.
In his farewell address, General Bajwa felicitated Asim Munir’s elevation to the seat of army chief and expressed confidence that his promotion will prove to be highly positive both for the country and Pakistan Army.
He maintained that General Munir is a professional and capable officer and a man of principle. General Bajwa said he is confident that under the leadership of Asim Munir, the army will achieve more success and further serve and defend the country.
The outgoing COAS furthered that he is honoured to have served the army. He said during his six-year tenure as the army chief, “Pakistan Army tackled many challenges, be it the situation on the line of control, terrorism or the natural calamities.”
He said he is proud of the army that “despite limited resources, it is fulfilling the responsibility of defending each nook and corner of the country”.
“Pakistan today is the abode of peace because of our sacrifices which are also acknowledged both by our foes and friends,” he added.
Prior to the ceremony, General Bajwa and General Munir laid a floral wreath at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada.
General Munir, the most senior ranking general after General Bajwa, was appointed as the new army chief by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on November 24, ending days of speculation.
General Munir is the 17th army chief to assume the command of the Pakistan Army since the country’s independence.
The newly appointed military chief has served at the country’s two most influential intelligence agencies, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI).
On Sunday, General Sahir Shamshad Mirza assumed his appointment as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
General Mirza replaced General Nadeem Raza, assuming what is technically the most senior position in the military but is considered ceremonial.
General Bajwa held separate farewell meetings with the president and prime minister on Monday, who expressed their good wishes to him during their meetings. Later, PM Shehbaz held a luncheon in honour of General Bajwa at the Prime Minister House.
The prime minister appreciated General Bajwa’s services for Pakistan Army, national defence and national interests.
While bidding farewell, Shehbaz noted that the army, under the leadership of Gen Qamar, rendered exemplary services in various crises, including the removal of Pakistan’s name from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list, the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and the climate-induced floods that inundated almost half of the country.
He said that the armed forces crushed the menace of terrorism with valour and bravery under General Bajwa’s leadership, adding that the outgoing chief took charge of the army during one of history’s toughest moments.