Pakistan's ISI chief likely to be replaced soon: Report

Lt General Rizwan Akhtar, Director General of Pakistan's powerful spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), is likely to be replaced within the next few weeks, Pakistan media reported.

Lt General Akhtar  was appointed head of ISI in September 2014 and took office in November 2014 when he replaced the retiring Lt Gen Zaheer-ul-Islam. He is now likely to be replaced by Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, much before his three-year term expires, the reports said.

The move to shift out the incumbent ISI chief is widely seen as a fallout of the ISI's failure to detect India's plans against the terror camps within PoK and elsewhere

The Nation, citing a security official privy to the development, reported of the impending change of command and said preparations were underway for the changes.

"Intriguingly, he may be leaving the position earlier than the typical three-year tenure of a ISI DG," the report said.

The corps commander of Karachi, Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, is most likely to replace him, the official was quoted as saying.

Another senior security official was quoted as saying that Akhtar - who has already served in Karachi as Director General, Sindh Rangers - knows the challenges in Karachi and "the swapping makes sense".

The official was, however, more circumspect about the timing of the change and said, "It depends on whether the army chief, Gen Raheel Sharif, gets an extension or retires as announced."

"I don't think the notification of other changes in military command will come before that," he said. "There are a lot of variables involved."

Raheel had announced earlier this year that he is not seeking an extension and would retire in November.

Lt Gen Asim Bajwa, the chief military spokesman, however, denied that the intelligence chief was being replaced. "No such thing," Bajwa said when asked about it.

The paper also did not cite any reason why the ISI chief is being replaced.