Islamabad (Pakistan) | Jagran News Desk: Amid the continued rift between Imran Khan and Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa over the appointment of the new Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, the Special Assistant to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Political Affairs has made a controversial statement, saying the cricketer-turned-politician is "not a rubber stamp Prime Minister".

"Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has made it clear that he is not a rubber stamp Prime Minister and would take decisions as per the law," he said in a TV show, as reported by news agency IANS.

However, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has asked the senior official to keep his mouth "shut", saying his comments created a "wrong perception" politically. Pakistan Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry also played down the issue and said that the government and the Army "are on the same page" over the appointment of the new ISI chief.

"The process for appointing the new DG ISI will be completed soon. The game that a specific section wants to play on this has been defeated. Now it is being said that the prime minister will hold interviews for the new DG ISI. A meeting before such appointments is conventional. Making this process controversial is highly inappropriate," he said in a Tweet in Urdu.

Meanwhile, Pakistani sources claim that while the Pakistani army is silent on the issue, during the meeting held on Tuesday night, Bajwa made it clear to Imran Khan that he should not cross his limits by interfering in military affairs and let Lt. General Faiz Hameed, whom Khan wanted to retain as ISI chief, to remain in the post till November 15 but not beyond that. As per Khan's "wish", a list of three probables has been submitted to him. One of them is the name of Lt. General Nadeem Ahmad Anjum, who was earlier announced by the Army as the new Chief.

Pakistan watchers claim that Anjum is the seniormost among the three and wonder why Khan is not "notifying" the appointment of the ISI chief. But Khan is not okay with it. He wants Hameed to continue till March next year which is not acceptable to Bajwa. This is really intriguing to Pakistan experts and media, why Imran Khan, who was "selected" by Bajwa, is not only defying him but is publicly humiliating and challenging him.

(With IANS inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma