ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan was expected to issue a notification for the appointment of a new director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on Friday before his departure to Saudi Arabia on a three-day official visit on Saturday. But it was further postponed and according sources, some conclusion will appear after this visit.
Present DG-ISI Lt. Gen Faiz Hameed is in Islamabad and did not accompany with Prime Minister for this visit. Now, Prime Minister Imran Khan will disclose his much awaited decision after his visit.
The sources said that one of the officers nominated for the coveted position, Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum was called to have meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan. He is presently serving as the corps commander for Karachi. According to informed sources, 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 said on condition of anonymity. But the two senior federal ministers Sheikh Rashid and Fawad Choudhary have repeatedly said that the issue has been sorted out and notification would be issued by Friday.
The sources say that Lt. Gen Nadeem Ahmad Anjum will be new DG-ISI and the prime minister will give his consent and will sign the relevant summary sent from the COAS office. “It is a ‘catch 22’ situation and matter of ego and prestige”, the sources commented.
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.”
He held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at PM House on Thursday and discussed a number of issued related to law & order. Prime Minister, at this occasion, discussed the subject of appointment and notification related to DG-ISI.
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 Imran 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.