ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to issue a notification of appointment of a new Director General, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), upon his return from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on October 25. Informed sources told Business Recorder that subsequent to the October 20 reported meeting of the nominated ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum with Prime Minister Imran Khan, rumours of any rift within the civil-military leadership “automatically died down”.
“It is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and the PM Office will issue the notification as and when he feels it appropriate, but hopefully it will be done when he is back from Saudi Arabia,” said an official source on condition of anonymity. The source added that Lt Gen Anjum is most likely to be appointed. He is currently serving as the corps commander for Karachi and reportedly met with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa prior to his meeting with the Prime Minister – regarded as a formality before his appointment as the new head of the country’s premier intelligence agency.
It’s almost two weeks since the reported deadlock between the civil and military leadership after Army Chief General Bajwa made changes in the top military ranks by nominating Lt Gen Anjum as the next DG ISI while appointing the incumbent chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed as the corps commander for Peshawar.
The sources, however, stated that the delay in the notification was only because of certain legal formalities, as the Prime Minister wanted to adhere to the process and fulfill all the legal requirements by receiving a summary carrying a few names of candidates before handpicking the new ISI chief.
“Now as the summary has already been sent to the PM House and other formalities fulfilled, I don’t think there should be any further delay in the notification of the new ISI chief,” the source further stated. The government spokespersons, including Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, have been rejecting any rift between the civil and military leadership over the appointment of a new DG ISI.
While briefing the media on the 16 October cabinet briefing, Fawad Chaudhary stated: “There are many on the social media who have wishes [to cause a rift between the civil and military leadership], I want to tell them that the Prime Minister’s Office will never undermine the respect of the Pakistan Army and the Army Chief. And the Army Chief and the army will never take any step that will undermine the respect of the Prime Minister or civil setup”.
Prior to the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief General Bajwa had held a detailed discussion on the matter in their meeting on October 15.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021