–Outgoing chief military spokesperson to serve as Okara GOC
RAWALPINDI: Major General Asif Ghafoor was on Thursday removed from the position of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director-general (DG) and replaced by Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar.
Maj Gen Ghafoor’s services were transferred to the 40th Infantry Division (Okara), where he will serve as the general officer commanding (GOC).
According to sources, Gen Ghafoor will relinquish charge when his successor will take oath in February. Till then, Gen Ghafoor will remain on his post of the army spokesperson.
“Thanks to everyone I have remained associated with during the tenure,” Maj Gen Ghafoor wrote on Twitter from the @OfficialDGISPR handle as news of his transfer broke.
“My very special thanks to Media all across. Can’t thank enough fellow Pakistanis for their love and support [sic],” he said in his farewell message, while also wishing his successor the best.
Maj Gen Ghafoor had headed the military’s media wing since December 2016. The announcement of his departure comes after Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed called on Prime Minister Imran Khan.
WHO IS MAJ GEN BABAR?
Maj Gen Iftikhar was commissioned in 6 Lancers in March 1990. He is a graduate of the Command and Staff College Quetta, National Defence University (NDU) Islamabad and Royal Command and Staff College Jordan. The General Officer carries with him a rich command, staff and instructional experience.
He has served as Brigade Major in an Armoured Brigade, Brigadier Staff in an Infantry Division in North Waziristan and Chief of Staff in Corps Headquarters. He has commanded an Armoured Brigade and infantry Brigade in North Waziristan (Operation Zarb-e-Azb).
He also served on the faculty of Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) and NDU Islamabad. He is married with four sons. An avid reader and golfer, Maj Gen Iftikhar was presently commanding an Armoured Division before being appointed as the military spokesperson.
PROFILE OF GEN GHAFOOR:
Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor was appointed as the DG ISPR in December 2016. He had replaced Lt Gen Asim Bajwa.
According to the ISPR website, Maj Gen Ghafoor was commissioned on Septemeber 9, 1988, in 87 Medium Regiment. He is a graduate of Command & Staff College Quetta, Command & Staff College Bandung (Indonesia) and NDU Islamabad. He holds a master’s degree in strategic studies.
The general has held various staff, instructional and command assignments including Brigade Major Infantry Brigade, Assistant Military Secretary MS Branch, GHQ, Directing Staff Command & Staff College Quetta and Director Military Operations in Military Operations Directorate, GHQ. He has commanded his parent unit in Operation Al-Mizan, Artillery Brigade at the Line of Control, Infantry Brigade on the eastern border and a Division at Swat, Malakand. Maj Gen Ghafoor is a recipient of the COAS Commendation Card for operations in Bajaur in 2008.