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ISI chief gets one-year extension

world Updated: Mar 11, 2010 01:12 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times
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Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani granted a one-year extension in service to Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha — making him the fourth such beneficiary in recent months, local media reports.

Pasha — who was scheduled to retire from service on March 18 — would now continue serving the Pakistan Army as a lieutenant general and the ISI chief for another year.

Having replaced Lieutenant General Nadeem Taj, Pasha has been heading the country’s premier intelligence service since October 2008. Before being promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and assuming charge of the top ISI office, Pasha served as the Military Operations director general.

Born in 1952, Pasha has had a distinguished career, spanning more than 30 years, in the Pakistan Army.

He has commanded an infantry division, a mechanised infantry brigade and an infantry battalion, and served as the chief instructor of the Command and Staff College of the Pakistan Army. From 2001 to 2002, Pasha also served as a contingent and sector commander with the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone.

It is believed that the decision to extend Pasha’s service has been made to ensure the continuity of the army’s operations against militancy.

During Pasha’s tenure as the ISI director general, the army has conducted three successful operations and flushed out terrorists from Swat, South Waziristan and Bajaur. An operation in Orakzai Agency is now on the cards, while the army is also gradually augmenting a build up in North Waziristan.