Pak’s new ISI chief asks not to release his photos, videos to media

The newly-appointed Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum has instructed Pakistani authorities not to release his images or video footage to the media, according to a media report on Wednesday.

Anjum was named the director general of the ISI last month after a long standoff between Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership.

Anjum had replaced Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, whose footage of him having a chat with a reporter in Kabul during the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August this year, had gone viral.

On Monday, Pakistan’s National Security Committee had approved the country’s first-ever national security policy.

The high-level meeting was also attended by the ISI Director General. However, the photos and video-recording of the meeting released by the Pakistan government showed all the other top dignitaries, except the ISI chief, The News International reported.

A federal minister told the newspaper that the ISI chief had instructed the government authorities not to release any photos or video footage of any of the meetings he attended.

This was also the reason why there are no photos of Anjum available in the media since his appointment, the report said.

According to Lt Gen (retd) Amjad Shoaib, a former Pakistani official, the basic principle of intelligence services is to stay away from the media’s glare and maintain a garb of anonymity.

However, he maintained there were several instances in the past when this principle was violated by government authorities, the report said.

Shoaib cited the example of the Afghan war, when photos of Gen Hameed Gul and Gen Javed Nasir, who were heading the ISI, were released to the media.

Shoaib added that when he was promoted and posted as GOC Quetta, the then Army chief, General Abdul Waheed Kakar had advised him to stay away from the media.

Maj Gen (retd) Ejaz Awan, who also served in the ISI in the past, said that the new DG ISI seems to be following the pattern of doing his work without being publicised in the media.

Ideally, people should not know by face who is the country’s intelligence operator, Awan was quoted as saying in the report.

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