General Mirza takes charge as Pakistan’s new CJCSC


PTI, Nov 27, 2022, 7:43 PM IST

Image Courtesy: Twitter

Rawalpindi: Pakistan Army General Sahir Shamshad Mirza on Sunday took charge as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) in a ceremony at the Joint Staff Headquarters here.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) – military’s media wing, a ”smartly turned-out” joint services guard presented the salute to Gen Mirza after he arrived at the venue. He also reviewed the guard of honour and march-past.

A large number of serving and retired officers from the tri-services as well as the former CJCSC also attended the ceremony, it added.

Gen Mirza took charge after the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, Gen (retd) Nadeem Raza, hung up his boots a day earlier. The CJCSC is the highest authority in the hierarchy of the armed forces but the key powers including mobilisation of troops, appointments and transfers lie with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) which makes the person holding the post the most powerful in the military.

On Thursday, President Arif Alvi promoted Lt Gen Syed Asim Munir to the rank of General with immediate effect and appointed him as Chief of Army Staff (COAS), ending intense speculation over the most powerful position in the coup-prone country, where the military wields considerable power in matters of security and foreign policy.

The President also promoted Lt Gen Mirza to the rank of General with immediate effect and appointed him as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) with effect from November 27.

Gen Munir and Gen Mirza were the first and second on the seniority list, respectively. Therefore, both key slots went to the most-senior generals.

Lt Gen Mirza, who hails from the Sindh Regiment, has had an impressive career in the army, particularly in senior leadership positions during the past seven years.

He came to prominence as director-general military operations (DGMO) during the last two years of Gen Raheel Sharif, the COAS from 2013-16. In that role, he was part of Gen Sharif’s core team at GHQ, which supervised the military operation against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militants in North Waziristan.

Further, he was closely involved in the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) that brokered intra-Afghan talks involving Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and the United States. Besides, he was also a member of the Sartaj Aziz-led committee on reforms for Gilgit-Baltistan.

After his promotion to the three-star rank, he was appointed chief of general staff, effectively making him the second-most powerful person in the army after the COAS. In that role, he was closely engaged in crucial decision-making related to national security and foreign affairs. He also joined former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in strategic talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in 2021.

In October 2021, he was posted as Corps Commander Rawalpindi to enable him to acquire operational experience and become eligible to be considered for the top posts.

The powerful Army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 75-plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in matters of security and foreign policy.

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