• Urges world help for Afghanistan
• Claims petrol prices raised in accordance with international market rates
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday claimed that the issue of the appointment of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general had been amicably settled between the civil and military leadership.
Talking to reporters, Mr Ahmed said the spymaster would be appointed before next Friday.
Rejecting reports of a rift between the government and the military establishment, he said the prevailing environment in the country was fine, and regretted that “some elements were trying to make highly sensitive institutions controversial”.
His remarks came amid widespread speculations that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa were not on the same page over the key appointment in the army.
The issue has been in the news since last week following the unusual delay in the issuance of official notification of Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum’s appointment as the new chief of the premier intelligence agency.
The army, in a statement on Oct 6, had announced that the incumbent ISI director general, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, had been made the Peshawar Corps commander while Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum was appointed in his place.
But the Prime Minister’s Office withheld the official notification, leading to rumours about strains in civil-military relations.
Earlier this week, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said Prime Minister Imran Khan had the authority to appoint the spy chief and that the consultation process had been completed.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Rashid told mediapersons that Pakistan desired peace and stability in neighbouring Afghanistan and urged the international community to help the Taliban-led country on humanitarian grounds.
Amidst scathing criticism of the government over massive hike in prices of petroleum products, the interior minister said no ruler wanted inflation in the country and that prices were raised due to increase in rates in the international market.
“The wave of inflation has affected the entire world,” he said.
Referring to development projects in his home constituency of Rawalpindi, the minister said Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had inaugurated a third university in the city, adding that dozens of institutions, especially for girls, had been opened to ensure availability of education facilities to all, with special focus on backward areas.
He said work on Ring Road and Leh Nullah projects would commence shortly.
Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2021