Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar, the former director general of the country’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has confirmed that army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has accepted his request for premature retirement.
“I would take a break and spend time with my family,” said Lt Gen Rizwan, who is currently President of the National Defence University (NDU) in Islamabad, while speaking exclusively to Daily Express.
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“All official formalities and paperwork have been completed,” added Lt Gen Rizwan, who will doff his military uniform on October 9, 2017. However, he would not say anything about his future plans.
On Saturday sources said Lt Gen Rizwan had requested for ‘premature release’ citing ‘pressing personal commitments’.
“I want everyone knowing me to respect my decision and not succumb or resort to speculation in any domain,” he was quoted as saying. “I shall be available for any service in the army whenever needed.”
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The former spymaster went on to add that he had taken the decision with a “heavy heart but with great satisfaction” to “hang my uniform on 9th October 2017 after close to 35 years of dedicated active commissioned service”.
Lt Gen Rizwan further said that he would like to place on record his sincere gratitude for all his seniors, comrades and staff, including his family, who had provided constant guidance to him throughout his long career.
He said it was a matter of great pride and honour for him to have served the army of this great nation.
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Lt Gen Rizwan was commissioned in the Frontier Force Regiment in September 1982. According to the ISPR, he is a graduate of Command and Staff College Quetta and the National Defence University (NDU) Islamabad.
He also went to the United States for a war course. Lt Gen Rizwan has also commanded an infantry brigade and division in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and also served as DG Rangers Sindh and director general of the ISI.
Lieutenant General Akhtar is expected to join the Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance against Terrorism (IMAT).
(WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AMIR KHAN IN KARACHI)
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