As ISI chiefs term expires, extension yet to be announced

Muhammad Tauseef A. Bajwa

Senator (1k+ posts)
As ISI chiefs term expires, extension yet to be announced
By Irfan Ghauri
Published: March 19, 2011

Reports suggest Pasha granted years extension, instead of two sought by army. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Mystery shrouds the service extension said to have been given to the countrys premier intelligence agency chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, whose current tenure expired on Friday.

While there were unconfirmed reports circulating in the media that he had been granted another extension to his service for one year, no official announcement was made till the filing of this report, fueling speculations on the matter.

Neither the civilian government nor military authorities could confirm the issuance of an official communiqu regarding the extension.

An official of defence ministry told The Express Tribune late Friday evening that no notification was issued till he left the office. The defence ministry is responsible for issuing notifications pertaining to extensions.

Meanwhile, reports in the media speculated that Pasha would be given a year-long extension by the prime minister, instead of two years sought by the army.
Defence minister Ahmed Mukhtar, who said last week that the government would be giving an extension to director-general (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), did not specify a time period either.

Pasha has been DG of the countrys premier intelligence service, the ISI, since October 2008. Prior to this posting, Pasha served as the director general of military operations from April 2006 to September 2008.

He has already availed a year-long extension, granted by the army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, that expired on March 18.

Pasha is purportedly close to Kayani, who himself received a three-year extension last year. Under the rules, the army chief can extend the service of a Lt General for one year just once, without seeking prior approval of the government.

Further extensions, however, require the approval of the president and the prime minister.

Under the procedure, the office of the Chief of Army Staff initially moves such a summary, recommending extension of service to the Ministry of Defence.

The defence minister then forwards it to the prime minister, who forwards it to the president, seeking approval for the governments decision of extending service.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2011.