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Only Prime Minister Can Appoint DG ISI: Information Minister Ch. Fawad

October 13, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa have “ideal” civil-military relations, according to Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, and they never do anything that could “undermine” each other’s respect.During a press conference following the cabinet meeting, the minister stated that the authority to appoint the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general “lies with the prime minister,” and that the established procedure would be followed.

“The legal procedure will be followed in the appointment of the new DG ISI,” he said, adding that “both [Gen Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran] are in agreement.”

The prime minister has the authority to appoint the director general of the ISI. The prime minister, however, selects the spymaster after consulting with the army chief.Last week, the military’s media affairs wing announced the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as the new ISI chief.Meanwhile, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, the former ISI director general, has been appointed as the Peshawar corps commander.

Despite the passage of days following the announcements by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Prime Minister’s Office did not issue a notification confirming Lt Gen Anjum’s appointment as the new DG ISI, leading to feverish speculation in the federal capital.Until today, the government had remained silent on the subject.When asked about the issue during a media interaction on Monday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed refused to give a clear answer, saying that Information Minister Chaudhry was authorized to speak on “civil-military” issues.

In a press conference today, Chaudhry stated that Prime Minister Imran and the army chief had a “long sitting” last night to discuss the matter, and that the premier had subsequently taken the cabinet into confidence on the subject.

“General Bajwa and Prime Minister Modi have a close and cordial relationship. It is also critical from a historical standpoint that Pakistan’s civilian and military leaderships have good relations “He continued.

In response to rumours about the case, Chaudhry stated: “I see on social media that many people have wishes; I want to assure them that the Prime Minister’s Office will never undermine the Pakistan Army and its commander. And the COAS and the army will never do anything that will jeopardize Pakistan’s prime minister’s or civil setup’s respect.

He emphasized that the premier and the military leadership were working closely together, and that the DG ISI would be appointed after all legal requirements were met. “Both (PM Imran and Gen Bajwa) agree on this, and the prime minister has authority over it,” he explained.Chaudhry also praised the media for not “sensationalizing” the appointment of the DG ISI. When asked by a reporter if Chaudhry’s latest comments meant that last week’s announcement about Lt Gen Anjum’s appointment was made “without the prime minister’s approval,” the information minister responded, “I have already answered this.”

At the moment, no notification of the appointment of the incoming ISI chief has been issued.

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