Islamabad: Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum has reportedly been appointed as the new Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in place of Lt Gen Hameed, who was transferred as Peshawar Corps Commander, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) the media wing of the Pakistan Army.
The ISI chief is appointed by the prime minister but as part of a tradition he executes this power in consultation with the Pakistan Army chief.
The post of ISI chief is considered one of the most important in the Pakistan Army, which has ruled the country for more than half of its 73 plus years of existence and has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.
Who is Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum?
Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum is presently posted as Corps Commander of Pakistan’s V Corps in Karachi.
He belongs to the Punjab Regiment of the Pakistan Army and has also served as the commandant of Command and Staff College Quetta.
Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum is a battle-hardened soldier who commanded Frontier Corps Balochistan as Inspector General Of Frontier Corps. Many successful anti-terrorism operations were conducted under his command by FC Balochistan.
He earned the title of ‘Mohsin e Balochistan’ for his services to eradicate terrorism. As per a report, Nadeem’s subordinates call him the “man with glacier brain but sharp reflexes”. The report further stated that he is a good listener, observes things for hours and speaks concisely.
Change in guard
Anjum’s elevation comes at a crucial time with Pakistan lobbying on behalf of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
His predecessor Lt Gen Hameed from the Baloch Regiment was appointed as head of the spy agency on 16, June 2019. He had previously served in the ISI as the head of internal security.
Outgoing ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed is well-liked among the Pakistan Army’s top brass and is known for his professionalism, sources told IndiaToday. His recent engagement with the Taliban in Afghanistan has further improved his chances to succeed General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Reports state that General Bajwa will keep the four, who are vying to become his successor, in the dark till the time comes to announce the next chief, which will not happen till next year.
As of now, General Bajwa will remain as the Pakistan Army chief until 28 November, 2022.
Bajwa, a close confidant of Khan, was to retire on 29 November last year at the end of his three-year original term but Prime Minister Imran Khan gave the 59-year-old army chief another extension of same length citing regional security situation through a notification on 19 August.
Last month, Hameed had met with Taliban’s top leadership in Kabul ahead of the announcement of the ‘interim cabinet‘.
Hameed, who is considered close to Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, had served in the ISI for two-and-a-half years before being promoted to the rank of Lt Gen. He was appointed as ISI head at a crucial time due to several external and internal security challenges.
He dashed to Kabul and oversaw the crucial changes in Afghanistan where the Taliban took control in mid-August, about 20 years after they were removed from power in 2001 following a US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
In September, he visited Kabul and told the media in a brief chat that “everything will be ok” in Afghanistan, when there were rumours about differences among Taliban ranks due to delay in the announcement of the government.
When the incumbent Pakistan Army chief Gen Bajwa completes his three-year extension in November 2022, Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lt Gen Azhar Abbas, Lt Gen Nauman Mahmood and Lt Gen Hameed will be among the senior most generals.
The army, in an official statement, also announced two more senior-level postings.
Lt Gen Mohammad Amir was posted as Gujranwala corps commander, a major offensive formation of the Pakistan Army, while Lt Gen Asim Munir was appointed as the Quarter Master General (QMG) of the Army, the statement said.