• Says opposition has no vision to understand the regional situation
• Senior PTI leader asks what is against the law that the PM is doing on ISI chief issue

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has asserted that Prime Minister Imran Khan will not only complete his five-year term in office but also form the next government and criticised the opposition for discussing the military in public.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, the interior minister assailed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz vice president Maryam Nawaz for what he said ‘bashing’ the armed forces in the public meeting of the opposition alliance at Faisalabad.

The minister had made it clear some two days ago that the issue of the appointment of new Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence would be resolved by next Friday as both civil and military leadership had reached consensus on the issue, terming the appointment a ‘routine matter’.

According to military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief earlier this month reshuffled the top military hierarchy, transferring ISI DG Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to the position of Peshawar corps commander while appointing Karachi corps commander Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as new ISI director general.

However, a standoff developed on the issue between civil and military leadership as the prime minister was reportedly reluctant to appoint new intelligence chief “against the law and constitutional norms”.

A week has passed since Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa reportedly met to discuss the issue of ISI chief’s appointment after which the government came up with the announcement that the issue had been settled. However, the PM Office did not issue any notification so far been regarding the key appointment. According to the military authorities, the COAS had decided to make Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as new ISI DG but the PM wanted to take his own decision.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief whip in the National Assembly Amir Dogar had told the media last Tuesday that PM Khan wanted Lt Gen Hameed to stay in his office for some more time due to critical situation in neighbouring Afghanistan.

While responding to a question about any specific law about appointment of ISI chief, a senior PTI leader who did not want to be named said: “I am no expert of law and Constitution but I think question should be what is against the law and Constitution which the PM is doing while appointing DG ISI.”

He said the approval of the country’s chief executive was important for appointment of top government positions. “And this is the law,” he added.

“The UK has no written Constitution, does that mean appointments made by PM should be considered tradition,” he explained, adding that every notification signed by the PM was a law unless declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

Asked why the appointment was being delayed if the PM was authorised to do so, the PTI leader said: “How do we call this a delay? Is there a deadline or timeline passed?”


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