Now that General Asim Munir has taken over from Pakistan Army Chief and General Shamshad Mirza as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), Indian National Security Planners have decided to prejudge them not by their past, but by their future action towards the Pakistan borders. and about terrorist groups targeting India.
Though General Munir was the DG (ISI) when the Pulwama attack happened on 14 February 2019, he knows the Indian military capability and capability as it was he who delivered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s blunt message to then Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi about military consequences if captured IAF fighter pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan is wounded in Rawalpindi custody following the 26 February 2019 Balakot strike. General Munir was told by then RA&W chief Anil Dhasmana to deliver Prime Minister Modi’s message , even as India readied Prithvi ballistic missiles in the Rajasthan sector to show that Prime Minister Modi’s threat was real. Such was the threat that Abhinandan’s release was announced by Niazi in the Pakistan National Assembly the same night. In a sense, General Munir is well aware of India’s overt and covert capabilities.
General Shamshad Mirza is also free of Indian war capabilities as he was in charge of X Corps, which has the entire LoC under his jurisdiction, and has held talks with Indian Chief of Defense Staff, General Anil Chauhan, when both were Director- Generals of Military Operations were from their respective countries. General Mirza was instrumental in securing a ceasefire along the LoC with India at the behest of the outgoing army chief of the Pakistan Army, General Qamar Jawed Bajwa.
As India is well placed to deal with any action by the Pakistan Army on the LoC or Western borders, General Munir’s focus will be more on dealing with internal situations in Pakistan with deposed Prime Minister Imran Niazi desperately bringing forward to force elections in the Islamic Republic. Niazi’s past actions show that he is quite an unscrupulous politician who can conjure up a non-existent diplomatic cipher to blame the US for his ouster in cahoots with the Pakistani military. Political turmoil in Pakistan will continue until the elections are held as Niazi is convinced that he will win the election battle by cursing both the Sharif-Zardari families and the Pakistani army.
The second challenge facing General Munir is border skirmishes with Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, which refuses to recognize the Durand Line used by the wily British to divide the Pashtun community. Cross-border layoffs have become the order of the day as the Taliban regime is not interested in following Rawalpindi’s advice on issues of national concern.
The third challenge facing General Munir is to control 40 foreign terrorist groups in Pakistan with TTP, Balochistan Liberation Army and Sindh groups growing in capacity to stand against Islamabad. Even though Pakistan is being pressured by China to further expand the Belt Road Initiative, the Baloch and Sindh groups will act as major spoilers as they begin targeting the Chinese nationals who want their region’s natural resources exploit.
The fourth challenge facing General Munir is to restore the credibility of the Pakistani military, which has been attacked by their own once-political protégé, Imran Niazi. Leaking huge financial assets of outgoing Chief General Bajwa was clearly part of the PTI plan to destroy the hallowed image of the Pakistan Army and its corps commanders. General Munir is said to be well versed in the machinations of Imran Niazi as the latter threw him out of ISI headquarters after a short tenure and in turn appointed his supplicant General Faiz Hameed.
Finally, General Munir also has the arduous task of restoring ties, destroyed by Imran Niazi through his cipher breaker, with the Pentagon and the Biden administration. Although US forces hastily left Kabul on August 15, 2001, the Pentagon still maintains and exercises its over-the-horizon strike capabilities inside and outside Pakistan.