Islamabad: General Syed Asim Munir Ahmed Shah, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, has spent the majority of his nearly six months in office cleaning up the mess that General Qasim Javed Bajwa, his much-discussed predecessor, left behind, reported The Pakistan Military Monitor.

The arrest of Imran Khan, the former prime minister, was too a part of this cleaning-up operation. Since his arrest, the army has absolved itself of all ties to its erstwhile protege and the disastrous hybrid regime experiment.

It's too soon to declare it a win since much will depend on Munir's ability to restore a semblance of calm on the streets, unity among the army's top brass, and more responsible political leadership, according to The Pakistan Military Monitor. The Supreme Court coming to Khan's rescue has complicated the situation.

Ironically, all of these checklists demonstrate how Munir has broken his first commitment to not engage in politics. Currently, General Munir is the de facto ruler of the unstable country. In all ways, Pakistan has already had a coup d'etat.

Munir has never before needed to engage in aggressive core politics both inside and outside of GHQ in order to survive as a head. Playing both games at once presents him with the most challenge.

In addition to leaving behind a dysfunctional Pakistan, Munir's old boss, Bajwa, also left behind a group of officers who were more committed to the Purana (old) army than the Naya (new) army that Munir wished to build and lead. These officials, many of whom hold senior positions, are reportedly kindling scepticism, if not outrightly mutinous dissent, inside GHQ, according to The Pakistan Military Monitor.

Ever since he took over as chief, Munir has been taking action against these officers because he is aware of them. Given his limited experience at the GHQ, he is unlikely to be aware of the extent of these nay-sayers, but their presence at this crucial time makes him nervous.

Munir is also aware of the colossal damage that a social media campaign against him could do. He could still remember how General Pervez Musharraf, a strong military dictator, lost to public derision. People, mostly young and empowered with mobile phones and a false sense of history, have developed a universe of hatred and derision against the army thanks to PTI supporters and other anti-army groups. The army's inability to stop such malicious activities on social media has further increased popular disdain for Pakistan's most powerful institution.

As a result, the General might not be unconcerned by reports on social media that Lt General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, may attempt to overthrow him and assume control of the army. Mirza had lost out to become the Chief six months ago. The PTI social media brigade may have just been the source of the stories. However, these fake stories have the potential to sow disbelief and cast doubt on the army's leadership--a factor that has been chasing Munir since he assumed control last year in November, The Pakistan Military Monitor reported.

Due to the status of the nation and the growing disconnect between the civilian population and the army, Munir hasn't had time to organise his home because he has been forced to run from the start. The murmurs at the senior level spread the word that Munir attended the Officer Training School in Mangla (OTS) rather than the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul.

Second, his alleged disagreement with Imran Khan over accusations of corruption against the Prime Minister's wife while he was the head of the ISI has had an unanticipated consequence: as the Army chief, he is perceived to favour the Sharifs and Zardaris.

These could be folklore, but they affect the public's mentality like viruses, warping reality and fostering a virtual conspiracy theory universe, read a report published in The Pakistan Military Monitor.

Munir is acutely aware of this reality and said so during his first speech at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul. We will, he said, ensure that the bond between forces and people is further strengthened.

In the backdrop of to the ongoing crisis in Pakistan, the army chief blamed covert opponents for undermining state and societal cohesiveness and causing a rift between the populace and the armed forces. However, given that these same individuals view the army as the enemy, General Munir may need to marshal all of his resources and allies in order to help restore public faith in the army. Munir is currently in such a moment of truth, and how well he handles the situation will prove to be his litmus test, The Pakistan Military Monitor reported.