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Sunday October 24, 2021

ISI chief appointment: PM Imran Khan has political context, Army its own approach, says Sheikh Rashid

Sheikh Rashid said "everything has been mutually decided and finalised" and that the government and the military "have a very good understanding"

October 15, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad Thursday said Prime Minister Imran Khan had a political context regarding the appointment of the new ISI director general, while the Pakistan Army had their own approach.

Speaking to the media following a meeting of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Parliamentary Committee here, he said: “He [PM Imran] was viewing things in a political context, while the army has their own approach."

The interior minister said that "everything has been mutually decided and finalised" and that the government and the military "have a very good understanding". He said the prime minister had not said anything about interviewing candidates for the post.

According to sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan told the meeting the "technical issues" in the appointment of the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI) would soon be resolved.

The premier took the participants into confidence over the prevailing political situation in the country. He said "no one has a better relationship with the military than me", adding that there was no misunderstanding between the government and military.

The PM had convened an emergency meeting of the ruling party’s parliamentary group at the Parliament House to discuss important national issues.

Following the meeting, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry held a press conference, where he said that "the decision regarding the appointment of the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) will be made in an atmosphere of trust".

Chaudhry quoted the premier as saying that the "ambiguity regarding the appointment has been cleared".

“PM Imran Khan said that civil-military relations have never been as good in the entire history of the country as they are now,” added Chaudhry.

He said the premier said that the honour and the dignity of army was dear to the entire country. The federal minister said that PM Imran Khan and army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa "settle every issue together through consultation".

“The same mechanism was adopted on the matter of the appointment of ISI DG,” said Chaudhry.

The minister said that the DG ISI will be appointed "soon" with the process already "under way".

“The game that a certain class wanted to play on the issue has failed. Now it is being said that the Prime Minister will be interviewing for the new DGISI,” he said in a tweet.

The minister noted that it is a common practice to meet before being appointed to those positions. It is highly inappropriate to make such a process controversial.

Fawad Chaudhry said "the decision regarding the appointment of the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) will be made in an atmosphere of trust".

Chaudhry said that Afghanistan also remained the focus of the discussions.

He said PM Imran Khan took the parliamentary party members into confidence over the situation in the neighbouring country.

“Currently, Pakistan’s stance is that we shouldn’t abandon Afghanistan in this situation and assistance for it on humanitarian grounds must continue,” said Chaudhry

“We are helping our Afghan brothers and want that the entire world to help the Afghans.”

He said that Pakistan relaxed visa conditions for Afghans and increased bilateral trade.

The international community should also put its effort into maintaining stability in Afghanistan, he added.

Chaudhry said that PM Imran Khan also talked about inflation and said the increase in international prices is the reason behind the recent surge in inflation in Pakistan.

The minister said that the international price for petrol, which was earlier at $40 per litre has now crossed $80.

Chaudhry said that the government has framed a new economic policy to deal with the issue of inflation.

The minister announced that the government is going to launch three big projects in the month of November — Sehat Card, Kisan Card and Ehsas Card.