ISLAMABAD: Though, the former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar stated that no comments should be made on his premature retirement from the Army and his present job, the legislators had taken this matter and wanted to know the reasons behind his unexpected move. In Senate last week, the members raised the question over the causes behind his sudden move.
Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar on Saturday requested for early retirement from Pakistan Army citing “pressing personal commitments”. He, in a letter, asked for “premature release” starting Oct 9, 2017, after nearly 35 years of active commissioned service in the armed forces.
Akhtar, who was replaced by Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar as director general (DG) ISI, was posted as president of the National Defence University two weeks after Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa took oath last year.
JUI-F’sSenator Hafiz Hamdullah said was there any political party which could ask why a seasoned senior general opted for early retirement and what were the reasons behind this move. Without naming Rizwan Akhtar, he raised the question that why a senior general who had served on a crucial post in Karachi resigned from his post.
He went on to say that no one will ask a question in this regard because all know that it might make “them” angry, putting their political career in jeopardy.
PML-N’s Senator Saleem Zia said that people would be camping outside the residence of a minister had he or she resigned, but no one will ask a question if an army officer resigns. No one will even dare to pass by the residence of that officer.
Some gossip based propaganda against Lt. Gen Rizwan Akhtar was already under discussion on social media but no comments were made in denial from the government or Gen Akhtar himself. This propaganda was related to corruption allegations which did not contain any sort of proof.
He had still one year left to his retirement but he has requested to be released immediately on some personal grounds. Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar till his retirement was President of the National Defence University in Islamabad. Earlier, he served the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Rangers Sindh as their director general.In all, he has been serving the Pakistan Army for 35 years.
Lt Gen Akhtar said, according to media reports, in his resignation letter to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Bajwa that he wishes everyone to respect his decision without giving in to any form of speculation.
Gen Akhtar, in a letter, asked for “premature release” after nearly 35 years of active commissioned service in the armed forces.”I… want everyone knowing me to respect my decision and not succumb or resort to speculation in any domain. I shall be available for any service in the army whenever needed,” he added.
Rizwan Akhtar, who was replaced by Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar as director general (DG) ISI, was posted as president of the National Defence University two weeks after Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa took oath last year.
Gen Akhtar is a graduate of the Command and Staff College in Quetta, National Defence University and the Army War College, USA. He was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in Frontier Force Regiment in September 1982.
He is from the Frontier Force Regiment and commanded the infantry brigade and infantry division in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
Previously as DG Rangers Sindh, Gen Akhtar had been assigned with the task to lead the Karachi operation which began in 2013. But the military had replaced him as DG Rangers Sindh with Maj Gen Bilal Akbar in 2014.
He is considered to have extensive experience of counterinsurgency from a previous posting in the border region of South Waziristan.