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Pak spy agency gets new chief

Putting an end to rumours about a possible extension in the tenure of Pakistan's top spy-master, the government announced on Friday that General Shuja Pasha will step down on March 18 as DG of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and will be replaced by Lt General Zaheerul Islam, currently serving as corps commander for Karachi.

world Updated: Mar 09, 2012 23:46 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

Putting an end to rumours about a possible extension in the tenure of Pakistan's top spy-master, the government announced on Friday that General Shuja Pasha will step down on March 18 as DG of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and will be replaced by Lt General Zaheerul Islam, currently serving as corps commander for Karachi.


Lt General Zaheer ul Islam earlier served as the deputy director general of the ISI as a major general. He was then promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and moved to Karachi. Official quarters say that an extension for Pasha had been recommended by army chief General Kayani but turned down by President Asif Zardari. “Pasha’s error of judgment was his role in the Memogate case where he went out of the country to meet the prime character in the case, Manzoor Ijaz,” said political analyst Ayaz Amir.

The announcement of change of guard at the ISI came from the Prime Minister's office after consultations between the prime minister, president and the army chief. The extension of Pasha was not acceptable to Pakistan's political leadership, say informed quarters.

Lt Gen. Pasha had requested the army chief to relieve him of his duties as the ISI chief.