‘Convention’ for PM to meet candidates before appointment of DG ISI: Fawad

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Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday said it was convention for the prime minister to meet candidates before appointments were made to key positions such as the ISI chief, adding that efforts to make the process controversial were inappropriate.

“The process for appointing the new DG ISI will be completed soon. The game that a specific section wants to play on this has been defeated. Now it is being said that the prime minister will hold interviews for the new DG ISI.

“A meeting before such appointments is conventional. Making this process controversial is highly inappropriate,” he said.

Chaudhry was apparently responding to a report published by The News which quoted a federal minister as saying that the premier wanted to interview officials who were shortlisted for the position of ISI chief.

“The source said that all the processes in this regard are being followed in line with the understanding reached between the prime minister and the army chief. The source hinted that the Karachi corps commander is still the most likely choice for the post of DG ISI,” the report said.

“A federal minister on condition of not being named told this correspondent that the prime minister wants to interview all the three officers, recommended in the panel by the army chief,” the report added.

Separately, while talking to reporters at the Parliament House in Islamabad, Chaudhry insisted that “matters are completely alright.”

“The problem is that every hour some person, for getting fame, twists some words and puts it up [on Twitter]. At this time, the process has started. There is no conflict between the army and the government. Everyone is on the same page,” he said.

In response to a question about when the government would notify the new ISI chief, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill, who was accompanying the information minister, said, “Do not take this so [urgently]. It is serious business.”

He said that the information minister would share the news with the media as soon as the prime minister “makes a decision” and urged the media to refrain from sensationalising national matters.

Delay in notification

Following the reported impasse between the civil and military leadership on the issue, Prime Minister Imran received a summary carrying names of candidates for one of the most powerful slots in the country on Wednesday.

A federal minister, who did not want to be named, told Dawn that the premier had received the summary that carried names for the office of DG ISI.ACCORDING TO DAWN NEWS

Last week, the military’s media affairs wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), had announced that Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum had been appointed the new ISI chief whereas Lt Gen Faiz Hameed had been posted as Peshawar corps commander.

Since a notification of the appointment had not been issued by the PM Office for next couple of days, it led to feverish speculation in the federal capital, compelling the government to break its silence on the issue. The information minister had said in a press conference on Tuesday that PM Imran and the army chief had a “long sitting” last night to discuss the matter after which the premier took the cabinet into confidence on the issue.

On Wednesday, Chaudhry tweeted that consultation between the PM and COAS on the appointment of a new DG ISI had been completed and the process for the appointment had begun. “The civil and military leadership has yet again proved that all institutions are united for the country’s stability, integrity and development.

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