Lt. Gen. Ayman Bilal Safdar quits Pakistan Army amid rising tensions with Asim Munir

pakistan internal politics
Lieutenant General Ayman Bilal Safdar (Photo: X)

The resignation of Lieutenant General Ayman Bilal Safdar, a contender for the position of chief of the Pakistan Army, has sparked significant controversy within Pakistan. While the country’s mainstream media outlets, often perceived to be under the influence of the military, have largely remained silent on the matter, independent journalists and YouTubers have extensively covered the developments surrounding Lieutenant General Safdar’s departure.

Surprisingly, Lieutenant General Ayman Bilal Safdar had made headlines by accusing the Pakistan Army of electoral rigging during a Corps Commander Conference on March 5, 2024. His unexpected resignation has raised eyebrows, particularly given his status as the commander of GOC 1 Corps in Mangala, with retirement scheduled for 2027. Many in Pakistan speculated him to be the next Army Chief in 2025. So probably, Lieutenant General Safdar’s ambitions for the top military post may have clashed with the plans of current Army Chief General Asim Munir, leading to pressure for his resignation.

Second dismissal of Corps Commander

This incident marks the second dismissal of a corps commander within the Pakistan Army in the past year. Previously, Lieutenant General Salman Fayyaz Ghani was removed from his position as GOC 4 Corps in Lahore following an incident where workers of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, PTI, vandalized the Flag Staff House in Lahore.

Journalist and Pakistan Democracy Forum convener Haider Mehdi has been credited with breaking the news of Lieutenant General Safdar’s resignation. Mehdi provided insights into the timeline of events, revealing that Safdar was abruptly relieved of his duties as commander of GOC 1 Corps on April 4, subsequently being summoned to report to GHQ in Rawalpindi. However, instead of complying, Safdar chose to resign from his post on April 2. His resignation has since been accepted by the Pakistani Army and the President. Currently, Lieutenant General Ayman Bilal Safdar is reported to be in Saudi Arabia for Umrah pilgrimage.

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