PM Imran likely to appoint ISI chief today

Published October 22, 2021
Prime Minster Imran Khan is expected to issue the notification on Friday (today) before leaving on a trip to Saudi Arabia. — APP/File
Prime Minster Imran Khan is expected to issue the notification on Friday (today) before leaving on a trip to Saudi Arabia. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to issue a notification for the appointment of a new director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) within two days, before his departure to Saudi Arabia on a three-day official visit, according to sources.

The sources close to the prime minister said most probably the notification would be issued on Friday (today).

The sources said that one of the officers nominated for the coveted position, Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, who is presently serving as the corps commander for Karachi, called on the prime minister on Wednesday. He had reportedly met Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa the previous day.

“Most probably the notification will be issued on Friday,” a senior cabinet member told Dawn on condition of anonymity.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid had said a few days ago that the prime minister would appoint the new ISI chief by Friday (today).

However, when Mr Rashid was contacted on Thursday, he simply said: “I know nothing about it.”

Media reports have said Prime Minister Khan would leave for Saudi Arabia on a three-day visit on October 23, when he would be meeting the Saudi leadership and attending the Green Initiative Conference in the kingdom.

A deadlock of sorts emerged between the country’s civilian and military leaders almost two weeks ago when the army chief made some changes in the top brass, naming Lt Gen Anjum as the next ISI chief and incumbent ISI director general Lt Gen Faiz Hameed as the corps commander for Peshawar.

However, the prime minister reportedly asked the military authorities to fulfill “legal and constitutional” requirements and send a summary to him carrying three names of the candidates for the office of spymaster.

Mr Khan and Gen Bajwa then held a detailed meeting on Oct 15 to find out a way out of the deadlock. The next day the prime minister apprised the federal cabinet about his meeting with the army chief and the government proceeded to declare that all the issues between the civil and military leaders had been settled. However, the impasse persisted.

A few days ago a new summary was sent to the Prime Minister Office, carrying names of some candidates for the office of ISI director general, including that of Lt Gen Anjum.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2021

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