Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum (L) replaces Faiz Hameed as ISI chief.
Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as the next director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to take charge of the office on Nov.20, ending wild speculations about a rift between the government and the Pakistan army.
Till Nov.19, the incumbent ISI head, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed will continue in the position.
The prime minister has seen and approved Gen Anjum’s appointment as the ISI chief from the panel of officers at para 6 of the summary, a statement issued by Imran Khan’s office said. The order, which was publicly released, was signed by the prime minister’s secretary Azam Khan.
Another statement issued by the prime minister’s office said that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on the premier. The meeting was part of the ongoing consultation process between the two about the timing of change of command in the ISI and selection of its new chief.
During this process, a list of officers was received from the Ministry of Defence, the statement said and added that the prime minister interviewed all the nominees. A final round of consultation was held between Imran Khan and Bajwa.
After a detailed consultative process, Anjum’s name was approved as the new ISI director general, the statement said. The designated ISI head will assume charge on Nov.20, it said.
The appointment comes after nearly three weeks of an alleged standoff between the military and the government over the appointment of Pakistan's new spymaster. The army had announced on Oct.6 that ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed had been made the Peshawar corps commander, while Anjum was appointed in his place.
But the prime minister’s office had not since issued an official notification of Anjum's appointment, leading to rumours about strains in civil-military relations.
Fake news circulating through Twitter that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa was in London took social media by storm, leading to intense speculation and discussion about the ongoing political situation and the future politics of Pakistan.
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The United States immediately welcomed the move, and encouraged the two to "keep building on this progress." Bajwa said Pakistan had "hope" in the form of President Joe Biden's new administration, which he said could help facilitate peace in the region.
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