Surgical strike led to abrupt change of ISI chief in Pakistan

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New Delhi, Dec 12: Lt General Rizwan Akthar was abruptly moved out of the Inter-Services Intelligence and posted as the president of the National Defence University on Sunday.

He was replaced by Lt. General Naveed Mutkhar, a statement from the ISI's public relations read.

Army

While the decision of change of guard was abrupt, rumours had been floating since September that this replacement was likely.

[Also Read: Surgical strike meant to send message to Pak, not to satisfy Kejriwal]

India had in September conducted a surgical strike across the Line of Control and this was seen as a major intelligence failure in Pakistan.

The ISI, which is responsible for the intelligence had failed to pick any leads regarding the surgical strikes.

Surgical strikes cost Akthar his job:
The surgical strike carried out by India on September 29 was an embarrassment for Pakistan.

There were questions raised in Pakistan about the effectiveness of the intelligence.

Indian Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that the ISI was clueless about the September operation.

There were murmurs in Pakistan at that time about the change in guard at the ISI.

However, Pakistan did not take an immediate decision on changing the ISI chief.

Akthar continued as the ISI chief as the then army chief, General Raheel Sharif did not want a shake up.

An immediate change in guard would have meant confirming the surgical strike. It may be recalled that Pakistan had denied the strike.

Following the strike, the image of General Sharif too took a beating and he was no longer considered invincible, an image he prided himself on.

Indian officials say that Pakistan waited for Sharif's retirement before it could take any decision on changing the ISI chief.

Akthar had taken over as ISI chief in November 2014.

The appointment is for a period of three years unless the chief of the army decides to initiate a change.

Akthar had another year left in service as ISI chief. Officials say that Pakistan waited for General Qamar Javed Bajwa to take over as the army chief before it could effect changes in the ISI.

OneIndia News

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