DG ISI appointment within a week: Rashid

Interior minister says everything is settled


Our Correspondent October 16, 2021
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed talking to media in Karachi on May 26, 2021. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD:

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Friday played down the reported rift between the government and army, saying that matters related to the appointment of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director-general (DG) were “settled” and that an announcement in this regard would be made within a week.

“According to the information I have, everything is settled. There is a possibility that an announcement [regarding the appointment of DG ISI] is made on Saturday (today) or on Monday. Anyway, everything will be alright until Friday,” the interior minister said while talking to a private news channel.

On October 6, the military’s media wing had announced that Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmad 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 Office also had “sanctity” like the army.

Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) parliamentary committee meeting on Thursday that “all was good”, Rashid said people in the country get “confused quickly” on issues.

Rashid reiterated that the matter related to the appointment of DG ISI was “settled” and that a formal procedure in this regard would be followed and the announcement will be made till Friday.

“From today (Friday) till next Friday, all the issues will be resolved.”

On being asked why the appointment was being delayed if the matters were settled, Rashid observed that “according to the information I have, everything has been decided”.

Read Govt downplays DG ISI appointment impasse

On being further quizzed on the issue, the interior minister clarified that he was saying Friday “to be on the safe side, otherwise [the announcement] could be made today, tomorrow or day after”.

To a question, he said that such issues had come up several times in his life, but eventually they were resolved.

“I have come with [PM] Imran Khan and will go home with him.”

When asked why Premier Imran had taken a hard stance on the matter despite having a relation of trust and confidence with the military even on a “personal level” and a “stalemate” was created, Rashid said there were certain issues on which only the premier could comment.

“PM Imran said he had a one-to-one meeting with [chief of army staff] General Qamar and had a detailed discussion and the matter was settled.”

To another question whether the same appointment for DG ISI would be made as has been announced, the interior minister said that the final decision in this regard rests with the premier.

He negated the impression that there was any discussion in the parliamentary party’s committee meeting about PM Imran backing the continuity of incumbent DG ISI in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. “There is no [civil-military] impasse.”

About opposition’s comments that Indian Premier Narendra Modi had not “damaged” the image of army to such an extent that PM Imran had done, Rashid questioned whether Dawn leaks and Faizabad sit-in were carried out by the premier.

“It is the good luck of [PM] Imran Khan that he has got such a worthless opposition,” he said.

He said Pakistan Army was a patriotic institution of the country that managed it affairs according to its system.

“The civil-military leadership is onboard in consultation and the decision will be made in a cordial environment,” Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry quoted Premier Imran as saying during a news conference after the ruling PTI parliamentary committee meeting on Thursday.

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