Published On : Sat, Oct 8th, 2016

Surgical strike fallout: Pakistan’s ISI chief likely to be replaced


New Delhi: According to reports, Chief of Pakistan’s powerful spy agency Inter- Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar is expected to be replaced within the next few weeks.

Akhtar replaced the retiring Lt Gen Zaheer-ul-Islam as the director general in September 2014 and took office in November 2014.

A director general has a tenure of three-years unless he retires or is replaced by another army chief.
According to The Nation, preparations were underway to change the command. “Intriguingly, he may be leaving the position earlier than the typical three-year tenure of a ISI DG,” the report said.

Akhtar is expected to be replaced by corps commander of Karachi, Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, sources said.
Another senior security official was quoted as saying that Akhtar — who has already served in Karachi as Director General, Sindh Rangers — knows the challenges in Karachi and “the swapping makes sense”.

According to an official, “It depends on whether the army chief, Gen Raheel Sharif, gets an extension or retires as announced. I don’t think the notification of other changes in military command will come before that,” he said. “There are a lot of variables involved.” Raheel had announced earlier this year that he is not seeking an extension and would retire in November.

Lt Gen Asim Bajwa, the chief military spokesman, however, denied that the intelligence chief was being replaced. “No such thing,” Bajwa said when asked about it. Even the paper did not cite any reason behind the replacement.