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Why the ISI chief was changed

Last updated on: October 08, 2021 11:01 IST
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Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, who has been replaced as ISI chief, will remain in the forefront of Pakistani initiatives in Afghanistan.
He will also get a year plus to serve in a corps command, remaining in the race for selection as the next army chief when General Bajwa retires in November 2022, explains Rana Banerji, who headed the Pakistan desk at the Research and Analysis Wing.

IMAGE: Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Photographs: @OfficialDGISPR/Twitter

Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa appears to have played by the book in the latest reshuffle of lieutenant generals, sending out to corps commands the senior-most among them, who had not held the assignments so far.

It was a little unusual though, that these changes emerged piecemeal before the Inter-Services Public Relations 's formal notification. This led to some unseemly speculation in social media.

IMAGE: Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum.

Expectedly enough, Director-General, Inter Services Intelligence, Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, Baloch regiment, goes to the XI Corps, Peshawar where he would remain in the forefront of Pakistani initiatives in Afghanistan, as also in the just begun peace talks with the Tehrik e Taliban, Pakistan.

He will get a year plus to serve in a corps command, remaining in the race for selection as the next army chief when General Bajwa retires in November 2022.

Lieutenant General Nauman Mehmood, Baloch regiment, is brought in from Peshawar and posted as President, National Defence University, Islamabad.

Lieutenant General Muhd Saeed, Sindh regiment, is moved out from NDU as the new corps commander, V Corps, Karachi.

This would be familiar territory for him, as he served as director-Ggeneral, Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, in which capacity he would have handled chronically recurring law and order issues.

Lieutenant General Muhd Aamer, Artillery, who had been cooling his heels as adjutant general ever since his promotion to three-star rank, goes out to XXX Corps, Gujranwala.

He will replace Lieutenant General Syed Asim Munir Shah, Frontier Force regiment.

IMAGE: Lieutenant General Nauman Mahmood.

Earlier regarded as General Bajwa's 'blue-eyed boy', Lieutenant General Shah is perhaps a little hard done by.

In October 2018 he was made DG, ISI but was moved out quickly (June 2019) for reasons which remained unclear.

Now he is coming in as Quartermaster General with a little less than a year left to retire.

He will relieve Lieutenant General Aamir Abbasi, Frontier Force regiment, who is retiring on October 18, 2021.

Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, Punjab regiment, currently corps commander, Karachi, is the surprise pick as DG, ISI.

He did less than a year in Karachi and is not known to have had prior intelligence experience.

Otherwise, though, he is rated well professionally, having been commandant, Staff College Quetta and inspector general, Frontier corps, North Balochistan earlier, where he served a fairly long stint.

A view is emerging, that General Bajwa may have wanted Lieutenant General Nadeem to emerge as his own man in the ISI, even as Prime Minister Imran Khan was reluctant to let go of Lieutenant General Faiz. This could also explain the delay in notifying the changes.

IMAGE: Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed.

Hailing from heartland Punjab (Gujar khan), he held difficult brigade commands during the Zarb-e-Azb anti-terror exercises, in militant affected South Waziristan and Kurram Agency.

The adjutant general's slot will be filled by newly promoted Major General Muhd Asim Malik, Baloch regiment, currently vice chief of general staff (A) at GHQ. He is from a well known military family and his elevation was expected.

Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/

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