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General Asim Munir takes charge of the powerful Pakistani army


RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, November 29 (Reuters) – General Asim Munir took office on Tuesday as the new chief of Pakistan’s army, a key change of command in an institution that plays a hugely influential role in governing the nation endowed with nuclear weapon.

Munir, who was named new leader last week, takes control at a time when the army is drawn into a political confrontation between the government and former Prime Minister Imran Khan, even as the country faces a crisis economic.

“I am sure that his appointment (of Munir) will prove positive for the army and the country,” outgoing leader General Qamar Javed Bajwa said during a handover ceremony at the army’s headquarters. army in the garrison town of Rawalpindi.

Bajwa, who served as leader for six years, has recently drawn the ire of Khan and his supporters, who claimed the military played a role in his ousting as prime minister in April during a a vote of no confidence. The military denied any role.

“General Asim Munir’s first priority is to restore the relationship of respect and love between the nation and the military leadership,” Asad Umar, a senior Khan aide, said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Khan, meanwhile, said he would continue his campaign to pressure the government to hold a snap election. He also threatened to dissolve the provincial assemblies under his party’s control, which could lead to a constitutional crisis.

Munir also faces a possible resurgence of militant activity in the country, with the Pakistani Taliban announcing a day earlier that they would no longer honor a months-long ceasefire with the government.

Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Arun Koyyur

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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