Govt tries to ease tensions with army over DG ISI

PM and COAS ‘complete consultation’ over new spymaster


News Desk October 13, 2021
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry is addressing a press conference in Islamabad on July 27. PHOTO: PID

The federal government on Wednesday tried to defuse recent tensions with the military over the appointment of the new chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that consultation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for the appointment of the new ISI director general had been completed.

“Now, the process for the appointment [of the new DG ISI] is under way” he added.

"The civil and military leadership have once again proved that all institutions stand united for the sake of country's sovereignty, stability, and progress."

On October 6, the military’s media wing had announced that Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum would replace Lt Gen Faiz Hameed as the new DG ISI.

Lt Gen Faiz, as per the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), was being posted as the Peshawar corps commander.

A day later, the country was gripped by speculations that the prime minister had not signed the summary as he was not consulted before the new ISI chief’s appointment. The issue also came up for discussion during the federal cabinet meeting where the premier reportedly said the PM’s Office also had “sanctity” like the army.

Read Authority to appoint ISI chief rests with the prime minister: Fawad

Information Minister Fawad later told a news conference that the prime minister had the authority to appoint the DG ISI. He added that the proper procedure would be followed for the appointment.

After days of intense debate and discussions on social media, the government finally confirmed the stalemate on the issue as the prime minister and the army chief held a marathon meeting to break the deadlock.

As per media reports, the Prime Minister’s Office received a summary containing three names from the defence ministry to pick one for the coveted slot. However, the GHQ denied this development.

Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum, who been named as the new DG ISI, was commissioned in the Light Anti-Tank Battalion of Punjab Regiment.

He has diversified experience of command, staff, and instructional assignments, according to the ISPR.

He is a graduate of Combined Arms Centre UK, Staff College Quetta, Advance Staff Course UK, NDU Islamabad, APCSS USA, and Royal College of Defense Studies UK.

He also holds a Master's degree from King’s College London and NDU Islamabad.

"[The] General has vast experience of command in conventional as well as sub-conventional threat environment," read the ISPR statement.

It further said he has been on command on both the western border and Line of Control besides a long service in Balochistan.

He commanded an infantry brigade in South Waziristan Agency as well as an infantry brigade in Kurram Agency and Hangu during Operation Zarbe Azb. He was also was the IG FC (South) Balochistan during Operation Raddul Fasad.

He has been an instructor at PMA, Staff College and NDU. He has also been a commandant of Staff College, Quetta. He has also been chief of staff of 5 Corps.

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