ISI chief appointment issue to be resolved in a week: minister

Published October 16, 2021
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — APP/File
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Friday said the issue of appointment of new Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general would be resolved within a week but was reluctant to give reasons for the delay.

However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, while talking to Dawn, said the appointment of new ISI chief was a “routine matter”, once both civil and military leadership reached consensus on the issue.

Talking in a private TV show, Sheikh Rashid said the issue had been amicably settled between the civil and military leadership of the country and “now the appointment [of ISI chief] will take place before next Friday”.

Asked what were the reasons behind the delay, the interior minister said he knew the reasons but could not make them public as only Prime Minister Imran Khan could apprise people on the matter.

Red Zone Files: Is another institutional clash brewing over the DG ISI's appointment?

Responding to a question, he rejected an impression that the delay was being made by the Prime Minister House due to some ‘spiritual and saintly’ reasons. “It is totally absurd that the issue is being delayed intentionally due to divine intervention. It is illogical that someone is casting a spell,” he added.

Sheikh Rashid said there were no differences between the civil and military leadership in the country and both sides were satisfied over what they had decided. He claimed that nobody in the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) parliamentary committee meeting, presided over by the prime minister on Thursday, had taken the name of incumbent ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.

The minister also ruled out media reports and a statement by PTI chief whip in the National Assembly Amir Dogar that PM Khan wanted Lt Gen Faiz to stay in his office for some more time due to the critical situation in neighbouring Afghanistan.

He said the country’s spy agencies had defeated 42 intelligence agencies of various countries in Afghanistan. “They [military authorities] will not retreat from their own procedure,” he added.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the issue of appointment of new ISI director general would be resolved in a couple of days. However, he was reluctant to further comment on the matter, saying: “There was no significant development on the issue today (Friday).”

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, the army chief has recently reshuffled the top military hierarchy, transferring ISI Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to the post of Corps Commander Peshawar, and appointing Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Nadeen Ahmed Anjum as new ISI chief.

However, an impasse developed on the issue between the civil and military leadership as the prime minister was reportedly reluctant to appoint new ISI chief “against the law and constitutional norms”.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2021

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