ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan presides over a meeting during his visit to the ISI headquarters on Sunday. Mr Khan lauded the efforts of the agency for national security.—PPI
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan presides over a meeting during his visit to the ISI headquarters on Sunday. Mr Khan lauded the efforts of the agency for national security.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters on Sunday and lauded the efforts of the agency for national security.

“The prime minister appreciated tireless efforts of ISI for national security and expressed his satisfaction over professional preparedness,” said a press release issued by the Prime Minister Office after the visit.

The prime minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Nadeem Raza, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi and Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza.

ISI Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hamid received the prime minister who was given a comprehensive briefing on the regional and national security situation.

Meeting at agency’s headquarters was attended by some ministers, services chiefs, CJCSC, CGS

It was Mr Khan’s fourth visit to the headquarters of the country’s premier spy agency after he became prime minister in 2018 and third during the current year. He first visited the ISI head office on Sept 12, 2018, and then on April 23 and June 2 this year.

In an interview with a private TV channel on Saturday, Prime Minister Khan had said it was believed that the army interfered in foreign policy matters but his government’s foreign policy was exactly as per the manifesto of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

“There is no pressure on me and nor can anyone exert pressure on me,” he had said, adding that the army knew everything about him and the others who had plundered money. The prime minister said the ISI and Intelligence Bureau knew whatever he did and with whom he talked to on telephone.

“The ISI knows as to whom I will be calling and why I am calling,” he said, adding that the ISI also knew as to who had taken money out of the country.

When asked if he had no issue with the agencies tapping his phone, Mr Khan said it happened all over the world and even the CIA did the same in the United States. He was of the view that the agencies did such things as they were responsible for providing security to the heads of state.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2020

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