RAWALPINDI: Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar has been promoted to the post of Director General Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) on Monday among other promotions within the army ranks.
The announcement was made by Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major Asim Bajwa on Twitter:
The announcement comes as current ISI chief Lt-Gen Zaheerul Islam and five lieutenant generals are scheduled to retire from service in the first week of October.
The military officers retiring in October include ISI chief Lt-Gen Zaheerul Islam, Mangla corps commander Lt-Gen Tariq Khan, Gujranwala corps commander Lt-Gen Saleem Nawaz, Peshawar corps commander Lt-Gen Khalid Rabbani and Karachi corps commander Lt-Gen Sajjad Ghani.
All five positions are of paramount importance in the military but the chief of the ISI is regarded as the army’s most important official after the army chief himself. The ISI chief is appointed by the prime minister, traditionally on the advice of the army chief.
General Rizwan and Maj Gen Naveed Mukhtar were close contenders due to their experience of intelligence.
Previously as Sindh DG Rangers, Major General Rizwan Akhtar had been assigned with the task to lead the Karachi operation.
But the military had replaced him as DG Rangers Sindh with another senior military officer.
The decision by the military headquarters had come at a time when a joint operation by police and Rangers against terrorists and criminal elements in Karachi had been in its full swing.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), had raised serious reservations against the operation in which, they had said, dozens of MQM workers and sympathisers had fallen victim to extrajudicial killings.