On Tuesday the Pakistani government insisted that there was no conflict between Prime Minister Imran Khan and General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the country’s most powerful military chief, over the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as the new chief of staff. Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s top spy agency. The dispute over the differences between Prime Minister Khan and the Pakistani military chief began last week after the appointment of Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as the ISI king. No appropriate notice was issued by Imran Khan’s office, which led to the revival of speculation over the dispute between the military government and the military.
In context, Pakistani law states that the prime minister has the right and the right to appoint an ISI king in consultation with the military chief. Referring to this, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said during a media briefing last week that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Defense Forces Bajwa discussed the matter “long” and the Prime Minister trusted the Cabinet on the matter.
However, Pakistani media reports indicate that things may not have gone as smoothly as Chaudhry said. According to reports, Bajwa made it clear to Khan that the prime minister should not interfere in military affairs and that Lt General Faiz Hameed, whom Khan wanted to keep as ISI chief, could be extended until November 15 but not later. Pakistan’s top journalist Najam Sethi said on a television program that the prime minister’s stance on the issue had led to tensions, which was why his office had not yet issued a statement.
The Hindustan Times first reported on October 7 that Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, a former Pak ISI chief, was considering a possible replacement for General Qamar Javed Bajwa, a former Baloch official, as the next king of the Pakistani armed forces. The former spymaster is now the commander of the Peshawar Corps, a move that Pakistani guards carefully designed to build Hameed’s future position as commander-in-chief, a requirement to be experienced in commanding corps formation at least a year.