Tuesday Oct 12, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet on Tuesday during which the matter of the appointment of the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also came up, sources told Geo News.
According to the sources, the prime minister took the cabinet members into confidence over the issue.
They said that the premier told them that there have been attempts to give the matter the wrong spin on the media.
PM Imran Khan assured the cabinet that all the people concerned "are on the same page" and that the appointment will be finalised "amicably".
Later in the day, while addressing a post-cabinet press briefing in Islamabad, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that the appointment of the Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI) had also been discussed in detail the previous night.
"A long meeting took place between PM Imran Khan and the army chief last night," Chaudhry said, adding that the government shares "an ideal relationship with the military."
"The Prime Minister's Office will not take any step that will tarnish the reputation of the army and the sipah salar [army chief], and neither will the army or its chief take any step that will damage the civilian setup," he said.
The information minister said the prime minister and the army chief "share a good working relationship", and both sides are on the same page regarding the appointment.
The information minister reminded the media that the DG ISI's appointment is the prerogative of the prime minister but consultations are always held beforehand.
"Any appointments that we make are after consultation, and we always fulfil all legal requirements [...] the new DG ISI's appointment will also be made after fulfilling all legal criteria," he said.
Meanwhile, Geo News's Director News Rana Jawad noted that speculation had been rife on social media after the prime minister did not issue a notification for the appointment of the DG ISI, which gave the impression that there were differences between the chief of army staff and the Prime Minister's Office.
However, the senior journalist said the 90-minute meeting between the prime minister and Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa would put an end to these speculations.
Jawad noted that Chaudhry had clarified that the matter would be resolved in the coming days.
Jawad noted that the stock market had been affected by the uncertainty, and there was a lot of discussion on the matter in political circles.
He said the information minister had now addressed the speculations and termed them "false", and that the prime minister would not take any step without consulting the military.