Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (IS) is a kind of shadow government over the country’s democracy, setting policy in Afghanistan and establishing red lines beyond which elected officials cannot cross.
So when Prime Ministers Imran Khan altered the procedure for selecting a successor to ISI chief Faiz Hameed, last month, he set off a political crisis in Islmabad. Khan said he wanted to keep Hameed for a few more weeks to handle the chaos in neighboring Afghanistan as the Taliban assumes power. The Pakistani military resisted.
From the New Dehli based World Is One News:
The face-off began on October 6 when the army announced the posting of Lt Gen Anjum as DG ISI in place of Lt Gen Hamid, who was posted out as the commander of Peshawar-based Corps XI.
However, his appointment had not been immediately notified by the prime minister’s office indicating a deadlock between the Imran Khan-led government and the military — the first publicly known stand-off since the former came to office in 2018.
The move was widely interpreted in both Pakistan and India as an assertion of civilian supremacy, a bid to curb ISI’s power. A columnist for the Times of India says Khan has “dug his own grave” by challenging ISI.
The pro-government Pakistan Today downplays the tensions.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office, Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the appointment of the new DG ISI; and the names of the candidates for the post were sent in the summary of the Ministry of Defence. After interviewing him, Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmad Anjum’s appointment was approved. He is a three-star Pakistani Army General and will serve the post of Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from November 20. It is a good thing that the name of the person recommended by the military leadership was approved. It will also give the impression that there is harmony in the civil-military leadership,
What is indisputable is ISI’s enduring power in Pakistan.