The appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as the new chief of InterServices Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan might finally come through but not without further tension.
According to sources close to GHQ, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is ready to sign the notification for Lt Gen Anjum as ISI chief.
“Imran wants to save his face and is likely to sign relieving date of Faiz Hameed on November 15, 2021," said sources. GHQ told negotiators Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Fawad that the joining date is going to be between 21 October to 25 October 2021.
Meanwhile, Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has instructed Lt Gen Anjum to take charge. He has also instated a tradition of at least a year of experience as Core Commander mandatory to become army chief.
Imran Khan and Gen Bajwa have been at loggerheads over the appointment of Lt Gen Anjum. In a long meeting between the two on Monday night, Gen Bajwa categorically told the Pakistani PM that the government cannot interfere in military matters.
Khan wanted to retain outgoing ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed till December but Gen Bajwa told him that it was not possible in any case. He told the PM that he could maximum retain Lt Gen Hameed up to November 15. The army chief also told Khan that the “civil government" should not interfere in military matters.
In another barb, Gen Bajwa told Khan that just because he and Lt Gen Hameed had a good relationship, he could not expect him to be “retained forever".
However, there is news that the two have sorted their differences in the meeting. There has been confusion over Lt Gen Anjum’s appointment without an official notification from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) even after five days of the announcement from General Headquarters, the seat of the Pakistan Army.
Sources close to Khan said in their meeting on Monday night, the prime minister made some suggestions that were not accepted by Gen Bajwa, including a change in the structure of the ISI.
Pakistan PM told army chief Gen Bajwa that the new ISI chief should have been announced by the PMO.