Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said it is a 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 are 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,” the minister tweeted.
Earlier talking to media in the Parliament House, Fawad on Thursday denied reports of differences between the government and military leadership over the appointment of the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The situation is “Allhamdollillah fine”, said the information minister.
“Everyone, at the turn of every hour, is trying to twist the matter to amass some popularity.”
Fawad was apparently responding to a report published in a section of the press quoting a minister 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.
Replying 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].”
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, on condition of anonymity revealed that the premier had received the summary that carried names for the office of DG ISI.
Last week, 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,” he wrote.