Even as the Pakistan government says the process to appoint the new director general of spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is underway, reports suggest that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa are having disagreements on the choice of the new spy chief.
On October 6, the Inter-Services Public Relations, which is the media arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces, announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as the new director general (DG) of ISI.
However, PM Imran Khan has reportedly refused to ratify the appointment. According to law, only the prime minister has the legal right to appoint DG ISI.
Reportedly, Imran Khan wants Lt General Faiz Hameed to continue as DG ISI till the situation in Afghanistan stabilizes for at least a couple of months.
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There have been meetings between General Bajwa and PM Imran Khan to resolve the issue but the stalemate continues. So bad is the situation that Lt General Nadeem did not attend the National Security Committee meeting, according to Pakistani media.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leaders say the Army has to send a list of candidates for the post of DG ISI to the PM for selection. But some defense experts have argued that the Corps Commanders and the Army Chief decide on DG ISI.
In a tweet, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced that the consultation between the Civilian and Military leadership over the appointment of DG ISI has been completed.
“The consultations between the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff on the appointment of a new DG ISI have been completed and the process for a new appointment has begun,” Chaudhry said.
“The civil-military leadership has once again proven that all institutions are united for the country’s stability, integrity and progress,” he said in another tweet.
Though there is an attempt to show all is well after the late Monday meeting between PM Imran Khan and General Bajwa, the battle lines are clearly drawn.
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