ISLAMABAD: Opposition leaders in Pakistan have criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for what they say mishandling the issue of appointment of new DG-ISI and say that he has set a new example of undermining the important and sensitive position by interview the contenders.
“He is setting a new precedence by himself taking interviews of candidates for top public offices and in the latest such instance is likely to meet probable to appoint the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general, one of the most powerful offices in the country”.
Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers are continuously trying to assure the nation that this issue is sorted out amicably and a notification would be issued very soon but it has not been done yet (Friday).
Presiding over a hurriedly called meeting of the parliamentary committee of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) at Parliament House, the prime minister assured the worried party leaders that the issue of appointment of new ISI chief had been amicably settled by him and Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and that the government would complete its five-year term.
Following the meeting, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told the media that the notification regarding appointment of new chief of the country’s premier spy agency would be issued in two to three days.
He denied that the prime minister would take interview of the probables but said: “Prime Minister Imran Khan will just meet all candidates (for the slot of ISI DG)”.
No such interviews have been taken in the past by any prime minister rather the official who is selected as head of the ISI pays a goodwill visit to the prime minister after his appointment.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman
Criticising policies of the government, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said Prime Minister Imran Khan has mishandled the issue of appointment of director general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
“He [Imran] has started wrangling with those who brought him into power,” the JUI-F chief said while speaking at a rally titled “Mufti Mahmood Conference” in Peshawar on Thursday.
He said the JUI-F wanted the country’s armed forces to be strong as a strong military and economy were inevitable for the stability of the country.
He said the rulers had been running the affairs of the country through “magic crafts and incantation”. He said the government had been enacting laws against injunctions of Islam like that of domestic violence and child marriage.
Maulana Fazl claimed that these laws were in negation of the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). He alleged that the government was trying to make Pakistan a secular state, but they would not succeed in their nefarious designs.
A large number of JUI-F workers, coming from parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Punjab, participated in the rally.
Both lanes of Ring Road were closed for traffic since Wednesday evening where a stage was set up. The district administration had already closed public and private educational institutions in three kilometres vicinity.
Pakistan Democratic Movement central leaders Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Mahmood Khan Achakzai and other leaders also spoke at the rally. Senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other PML-N leaders could not attend the conference because of the party engagements.
Speaking at the rally, chairman of the Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao paid rich tribute to late Maulana Mufti Mahmood and said the latter had played a leading role in the adoption of the 1973 Constitution.
He said the present government was “creation of rigging” and it was unconstitutional. He termed inflation a major issue of the country and held Prime Minister Imran Khan responsible for the worsening economic situation of the country.
He said that Imran Khan did not enjoy support of the masses and time had come to rid the country of this “inefficient and unconstitutional government”.
He said Imran Khan gave NRO to party colleagues and friends through amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance.
He said the prime minister had during interviews to foreign media portrayed Pakhtuns as terrorists which was baseless. “In fact Pakhtuns are victims of terrorism and they have rendered matchless sacrifices in the war against terrorism,” Mr Sherpao said.
President of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Mahmood Khan Achakzai said that the region was passing through a critical phase and the situation was very critical. He said that Pakhtuns and Afghans were being considered terrorists.
“We will have to prove through our actions and deeds that we are not terrorists,” he said.
Mr Achakzai urged the JUI-F workers to follow in the footsteps of their party’s founders. He also urged Afghanistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to protect the rights of women within the framework of Sharia.
JUI-F’s central general secretary Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri termed the Taliban takeover of Kabul a “revolution” and said that three super powers had suffered defeat in Afghanistan. He said the United States and its allies had committed genocide in Afghanistan, but the Taliban continued their resistance against invaders.
He said the Americans had been negotiating with the Taliban in Doha (Qatar) since 2018 and they were begging for a safe passage to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan.
He criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan and the US for demanding that the Afghan Taliban form an inclusive government and said the Taliban would give fundamental rights to women.
Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz have termed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resentment towards the appointment of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general by the army chief as uncalled for, saying only a “lawfully elected prime minister” can make top appointments to national security organisations.
“He is a selected prime minister as he has stolen public mandate. He has no legal and moral authority to make top appointment to the national security organisations,” said Ms Nawaz while talking to the media after attending the proceeding of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday.
She criticised PM Khan over his insistence to retain Lt Gen Faiz Hameed as ISI director general who, she alleged, had been involved in political engineering at the behest of Mr Khan.
Maryam Nawaz said Mr Khan’s act to exert authority had nothing to do with the principle of democracy and civil supremacy but he was struggling to prolong his rule.
“He is trying to follow in footstep of Nawaz Sharif but he has forgotten that Mr Sharif has rendered numerous sacrifices for giving respect to vote,” Ms Nawaz said.
In a sarcastic note, she said Mr Khan took decisions under the influence of “spirits” adding that “he does this for making top appointments and not for giving relief to the public at large”.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has said that Imran Khan is ruining the country by his devastated policies at all level. “He has unnecessarily dragged the issue of appointment of DG-ISI when this was not an issue and simply should be resolved”, he added.