Faiz Hameed’s tenure as ISI chief marred by controversies

Faiz Hameeds tenure as new Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief was marred by controversies both internal and external, which often kept the spy agency under media spotlight, Dawn news reported.

He had entered the office with the same perception about his personality, which dated back to his days at the ISI as head of internal security.

The timing of the change at the ISI, however, took many by surprise. It was generally believed that Gen Hameed would hold the position till April next year though he had completed his two-year tenure.

Some are looking at the change from the angle of the upcoming race for the next army chief in 2022. Gen Hameed, who would be one of the contenders, was yet to command a corps. Therefore, it is thought that he has been moved to a corps to meet that requirement for the four-star position, the report said.

Gen Hameed’s new place of posting, Peshawar, would, moreover, keep him relevant to the developments in Afghanistan. During his over two years’ tenure, he remained closely associated with Pakistani efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Gen Hameed’s visit to Kabul on September 4, weeks after the Taliban takeover, had led to renewed allegations about Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. People came to know about his trip after he was spotted having tea with Pakistani envoy at a Kabul hotel where many foreign journalists were staying.

The Express Tribune reported he remained head of the ISI for 27 months and oversaw the US exit from Afghanistan and was involved in behind-the-scenes talks aimed at seeking a rapprochement between Pakistan and India.

Previously he served as DG Counter-Intelligence within the ISI, a key position that looks after the internal security.

The reshuffle and appointment of DG ISI was due since Gen Faiz hasn’t yet commanded a corps, a prerequisite for being eligible for the slot of the army chief. He will be among the four senior-most generals in November 2022, when the incumbent army chief’s extended tenure ends.