Lt Gen Zaheer Islam is the new spymaster | Pakistan Today

Lt Gen Zaheer Islam is the new spymaster

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday appointed Lt General Zaheerul Islam the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (DG-ISI), quashing rumours of another extension being offered to incumbent ISI DG Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
The new DG, now serving as the commander of one of the most important corps (V corps) in Karachi, would take over charge on March 18, the day Gen Pasha retires.
Lt General Zaheerul Islam was appointed the Karachi corps commander in October 2010. He is in his late 50s and is due to reach the age of superannuation in the year 2014.
Following his posting, Rangers Sindh DG Ijaz Chauhdry was appointed the new corps commander for Karachi, while Major General Rizwan Akhtar was likely to be named the Rangers Sindh DG.
Like General Pasha, General Zaheerul Islam is considered very close to Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani.
The corps commander’s post is generally assumed by someone having the confidence of the army chief and the post of Karachi is among the most important ones.
Prior to being appointed as top military commander in Karachi, Gen Zaheer served in the ISI as deputy DG (internal intelligence) for two-and-a-half years and he was a major general at that time. In ISI, he looked after domestic intelligence and security related matters being the senior most official at the internal wing of the country’s major spy agency. He is from the Punjab Regiment of Pakistani Army, same as that of Gen Kayani. He also headed a division command in Murree before serving in the ISI. President Zardari conferred the military award of Hilal-e-Imtiaz on him in recognition of his meritorious professional services in March 2009. Islam carries a reputation of professionalism and discipline.
Pasha’s departure is said to bring some relief and respite for the American intelligence officials who had been given a tough time during the last one year or so by him. The ISI-CIA relationship turned more complicated after the US special forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2 last year. Gen Pasha reached the age of superannuation in March 2010 but was given a one-year extension twice.
With his tenure ending, Gen Pasha had approached Gen Kayani in December last, asking to relieve him of his duties as he was not interested in a third extension.
With United States having its eyes fixed at the endgame in Afghanistan, the American authorities were keenly monitoring the evolving situation as for the appointment of new ISI chief owing to Pakistani intelligence agency’s key role in anti-terrorism global campaign.
“Now that the ISI chief has been appointed, US officials would be looking forward to engage with him as soon as possible to sort out the contentious matters like the restoring the blocked NATO supplies, re-deployment of CIA and US military trainers here and drone attacks etc,” said a diplomatic source, requesting anonymity.
He said being someone close to Gen Kayani, the western states assumed that the new ISI chief too would be anti-Taliban and a person with moderate views, something of relief and solace for them.



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14 Comments

  1. Shahid said:

    Hopefully he will act sensibly and won't do folly like his predecessor Gen. Pasha did by cunjuring up Mansoor Ijaz.

    SHAHID HUSSEIN QABOOLPURIA,
    LAHORE, PAKISTAN

  2. Tahir Baluch said:

    *Pakistan Army
    *Pakistan Army

    not Pakistani Army

    Get the name right.

  3. Tahir Baluch said:

    "He is from the Punjab Regiment of Pakistani Army, same as that of Gen Kayani"
    This is factually incorrect—
    Gen Kayani is from the Baluch Regt. not Punjab Regt.

    Second. Pakistan Army calls itself the "Pakistan Army"
    Not "Pakistani Army". This is a Pakistani newspaper, we owe it to our own institutions to get their name right.

  4. Fardad said:

    Pity the country where change of the intelligence head is the most important and most talked about issue, but where people committing suicide due to hunger and injustice are 'normal' matters.

  5. Gulzar said:

    The position of IsI chief , though, important as well as not so important became important due to some happenings in and around Pakistan and elsewhere. There have been ISI chiefs who are still of international fame where as others just passed into history. Probably Lt General Hameed Gul gave ISI a new face and Afghan episode made ISi a universal prestige and hatred. Whether Gen Pasha wanted extension or not may never be known but he has created a name for himself. General Musharraf speaks very high of him where as Ch Nisar hates him. Personally I think ISI chief should be the one who works very silently and is laest known or talked about. ISi is probably too big an organization and those who hated Pasha may feel a gloom as nothing is going to change. General Kayani and zardari are still the directors and only the style may change with new DG and substance may remain the same.

  6. In10se said:

    I hope he does the job honestly and patriotically. Keep Pakistan first and always important

  7. krahim said:

    Here yeh! Here yeh! The GrandVizier announces the King is dead- Long live the King.

  8. Aftab Kenneth Wilson said:

    Congrats to new ISI chief. I hope he will keep his organization at arms length from politics. A so called leading tv channel has reported that our new Chief is also a relative of Bollywood Star Mr. Shahrukh Khan.

  9. Dr.M.M.Khan said:

    It is immaterial whether the cat is white or black . The important question is whether it can catch the mice. ? Time alone will show!

  10. Sadia Jaan said:

    Pakistan was created to safeguard the business interests of Ismailis community
    which is proved after more then sixty years that there is no Islam in Pakistan only
    community who is financially controlling it is Ismailis and they are never attacked by
    so called terrorists. Remember Pakistan is a failed state and doomed, these
    corrupt leaders are doing their best to wipe out this country from the face of the
    earth. In a way people of this country are to be blamed as saying goes that leader
    of the country mirrors its people corrupt people = corrupt leaders

  11. sherbahadur said:

    No matter who head the ISI Pakistan, there vision and mission remains same. inshallah they will protect our country to their best.

  12. Sadia Jan-Canada said:

    Pakistan was created to safeguard the business interests
    of Ismaili community proof is clear they are controlling the
    country financially their safety is guaranteed as no Ismaili
    has been killed by so called terrorists. It is joke to say that
    it was created for Muslims in Pakistan there is no Islam
    everything is Un islamaic. Pakistan is failed state. As saying
    goes the leaders of a country are the mirrors of its people
    like corrupt leaders=corrupt people

  13. nouman said:

    we would like to well com our new spymaster and hope that he bring Pakistan from difficulties through his leadership qualities…. May Allah blessed him….. ameeeeeeeeeeeeen

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