News Desk |
The Pakistan Army, on Sunday, announced several high-level transfers and appointments in its ranks of which most noteworthy is the appointment of Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed as the new Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The ISPR, the military’s official media wing, announced the new appointments in a press release, stating, “Lieutenant General Aamir Abbasi appointed as Quarter Master General (QMG) Pakistan Army. Lieutenant General Moazzam Ejaz appointed as Engineer in Chief.”
Jan Achakzai observed that the appointment of Lt Gen Hamid is the “best decision” in light of the new geopolitical challenges, external security issues and internal political challenges.
With regards to the replacement of the DG ISI Asim Muneer, the ISPR announced, “Lieutenant General Syed Asim Munir Ahmed Shah appointed as Corps Commander Gujranwala. Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza appointed as Adjutant General Pakistan Army. Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid appointed as Director General ISI.”
Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid will be replacing Lieutenant General Asim Muneer, who will now be assuming charge of the Commander Gujranwala Corps. Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been appointed as the Adjutant General, the General Headquarters (GHQ), and Lieutenant General Aamir Abbasi has been appointed as the Quarter Master General (QMG) of the Pakistan Army.
Pakistan’s New Spymaster
Indeed, of all the appointments announced by the ISPR, the most interesting and striking is that of the replacement of former DG ISI Lieutenant General Asim Muneer, who has been replaced by Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid after an 8-month stint as the spymaster of the country, a first-of-its-kind announcement.
General Hamid hails from the Baloch Regiment, and earlier, was in control of the internal security wing of the Inter-Services Intelligence. General Faiz Hamid was in-command of a division in Pano Aqil, and was also one of the high-level officers who brokered an agreement with the Faizabad-sit in protestors hailing from various religious groups in 2017.
Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza appointed as Adjutant General Pakistan Army. Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid appointed as Director General ISI.
It was General Faiz Hamid who had signed the agreement with the Faizabad protests as a “guarantor” of the negotiations held between the religious groups and former PML-N-led government. Earlier in April, Lieutenant General Hameed was one of the four major generals who were promoted to the ranks of Lieutenant Generals, including Major General Nauman Mahmood, Major General Azhar Abbas and Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza.
Gen Faiz Hamid: Master Strategist
Jan Achakzai, geo-strategic analyst and Chairman of Centre for Geo-Politics & Balochistan, observed that the appointment of Lt General Faiz Hamid is well-deserved and a highly strategic placement given his career as a “master strategist” and experienced general. Achakzai noted, “Master strategist, a connector, and very experienced General, Lt. Gen Faiz Hamid appointed as new Chief of Paks premier Intelligence agency, ISI.”
Jan Achakzai observed that the appointment of Lt Gen Hamid is the “best decision” in light of the new geopolitical challenges, external security issues and internal political challenges. He tweeted, “As external security & internal politics increasingly intertwined, he will break new grounds 2 combat geopolitical challenges.”
Master strategist, a connector, v experienced General, Lt.Gen Faiz Hamid appointed as new Chief of 🇵🇰’s premier Intell agency, #ISI.
As external security & internal politics increasingly intertwined, he will break new grounds 2 combat geo-pilitical challenges.
Best decision pic.twitter.com/tAk7JbjOkh
— Jan Achakzai (@Jan_Achakzai) June 16, 2019
Sharing his analysis on the internal and external challenges faced by Pakistan on Twitter, Geo-strategist Jan Achakzai observed that the appointment of the New DG ISI, Lt. Gen Hamid, will be “demoralizing news for India, opposition parties and 5th generation columnists”.
Post-US-Afghan set up nearly finalised;
Chabahar as #RAW hub delinked by Tehran.
To Be DONE (6-8 months):
*Agent of chaos, economic terror & mafias zoomed;
*Purge in media, business, trade, stocks;
(New DG #ISI is demoralising news 4 India, opposition & 5th Columnists)
— Jan Achakzai (@Jan_Achakzai) June 17, 2019
Lawrence Sellin, retired US Army colonel and veteran of the US-Afghan and Iraq wars, observed that the replacement of Lt. Gen Asim Muneer with Lt. Gen Faiz Hamid is a bid to intensify the counter-terrorism measures of the Pakistan army, particularly with regards to the “internal dissent” created by PTM and Baloch uprisings.
Sellin tweeted, “Pakistan’s military exerting greater political control to better use counterterrorism to quell internal dissent e.g. PTM & Baloch.”
Pakistan's military exerting greater political control to better use counterterrorism to quell internal dissent e.g. PTM & Baloch. Hameed is from Gen. Bajwa's Baloch REGT (being groomed for top spot?) & firmer control & use of Pakistan's "good" terrorists. https://t.co/kINv31BZol
— Lawrence Sellin (@LawrenceSellin) June 17, 2019
Syed Talat Hussain, senior journalist, observed that this new appointment is “pivotal” to the domestic and regional future of the country. Hussain tweeted, “We are entering a very interesting phase domestically and regionally. This appointment is pivotal to what will happen next.”
Lt Gen Faiz Hameed new DG ISI. We are entering a very interesting phase domestically and regionally. This appointment is pivotal to what will happen next.
— Syed Talat Hussain (@TalatHussain12) June 16, 2019
No Rift btw Army & Gen Asim Munir
The hasty appointment of Lt. Gen Faiz Hamid marked the end of Lt. Gen Asim Muneer’s 8-month stint as the ISI’s spymaster, a first of its kind announcement that shocked many across the country. Media speculations are ripe with rumours, and Global Village Space reached out to geo-strategist Jan Achakzai, who clarified that there is no rift between the Army Chief and Lt. General Asim Muneer.
Jan Achakzai observed, “Let me debunk the propaganda that the change is a result of some kind of rift between the Army Chief and Gen Asim Munir. Gen Asim served earlier as DG MI (Military Intelligence) and enjoyed great reputation as a soldier General and the trust of the Army Chief.”
Explaining Gen Asim Muneer’s capabilities and dedication to the job, Jan Achakzai explained, “He gave sleepless nights to his Indian counterpart during the recent Indian incursion into Pakistani territory. His grasp of geopolitics excellent communication skills including Arabic, exposure to prestigious western military academies and previous assignments including in Saudi Arabia made him a master tactician of geo-strategy as well and a made him a think tank as well.”
Achakzai debunked all rumors of Gen Asim Muneer’s interference in domestic politics. He noted, “Contrary to all myths, he never interfered in domestic politics as ISI Chief.”
Read more: High-level appointments in Pak Army
New Appointment linked to External Policy
Explaining the decision of replacing Gen Asim Muneer with Gen Faiz Hamid as the Director General ISI, Jan Achakzai explained that this decision is made in a “different time and space” and is not associated with domestic politics but rather, it is closely linked to Pakistan’s external policy. Achakzai noted, “The Modi-led India is a continued threat to trajectory of Pakistan’s geopolitical and geo-economic stability in particular.”
Gen Asim served earlier as DG MI (Military Intelligence) and enjoyed great reputation as a soldier General and the trust of the Army Chief.
Sharing his analysis on Gen Faiz Hamid’s extensive experience and well-deserved appointment as the new DG ISI, Jan Achakzai observed, “Having served ISI as DG C (Counter-terrorism), Gen Faiz also brings in institutional memory of dealing with purging extremist fringes elements—now absolutely essential to make the paradigm shift of Pakistan moving towards a normal country— behind the scourge of money laundering and radicalism.”
Jan Achakzai, Chairman of the center for Geo-Politics and Balochistan, noted that this decision is in-line with the policy shifts in Islamabad committed towards satisfying all the conditions put forward by FATF and other concerned international bodies.
Achakzai concluded, “His plate is full with issues related to India, Afghanistan, Iran—US tension, hardening gains domestically in the wake of military operations to mention few. But he is equally competent to take the challenge head on.”