The special advisor says the situation in Afghanistan necessitated it
Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to retain the director-general of the Inter Services Intelligence, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Amir Dogar said on SAMAA TV show Nadeem Malik Live Tuesday night.
He said that the prime minister wanted to keep DG ISI Lieutenant-General Faiz Hameed on his post in view of the emerging situation in Afghanistan.
Dogar said that the prime minister took the cabinet into confidence on this issue and told the members that he wished to retain Faiz Hameed as DG ISI for a few months until a settlement in Afghanistan was achieved.
He quoted the prime minister as saying that he enjoyed an ideal relationship with Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Amir Dogar said that a lengthy meeting took place between the prime minister and the COAS Monday night in which it was decided that three to five more names would be sent in accordance with relevant rules and regulations and the prime minister would chose one of them for the post.
He insisted that it was a matter of personal preference of the prime minister, but “there may have been a procedural deficiency”.
Dogar quoted the prime minister as saying that Lt-Gen Nadeem Anjum was a good general and he had no objection over his elevation but the procedure should be followed in letter and spirit.
In view of the current situation in the region, he said the prime minister did not want to lower the morale of the armed forces.
Describing the prime minister’s body language during the cabinet meeting positive, Amir Dogar said that the opposition wanted to approach “Gate No 4” but nothing of the sort would happen.
The prime minister, Dogar maintained, was an honest and upright person and he believed in the supremacy of the law.
He also quoted the prime minister as saying that as an elected prime minister, he was the country’s chief executive.
He reminded Nadeem Malik that the prime minister had already told the United States ‘absolutely not’ and he had also told the army chief to follow all processes in accordance with relevant rules. He acknowledged that the prime minister had insisted during the cabinet meeting that he was not a mere rubber stamp.
Amir Dogar said that both COAS Bajwa and DG ISI Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed greatly support the democratic process and it would have been appropriate if the situation had not reached the present level.
During the discussion, Mussadiq Malik of PML-N said that the PM House was adopting a unique attitude, otherwise Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry would not have to hold a separate press conference on this issue.
It was surprising that the government was showing a level of nervousness and it was trying to give an impression that the relevant processes had not been fulfilled, Malik pointed out.
If the prime minister really wanted to retain the incumbent DG ISI, he should have resorted to dialogue and the matter should not have been discussed in press conferences, he added.
According to him, there was also the matter of Imran Khan’s egoism. He said that what happened with Majid Khan in cricket and Jehangir Tarin in politics linked to the same issue.
Qamar Zaman Kaira of the PPP said that the prevailing situation in the country was not beneficial at all, adding that tension did not benefit anyone.