Islamabad: Speculations might be at its peak that chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s tenure could be extended by the Pakistan government, reports suggest that he is much keen in ‘getting out of the job’.
Many in Pakistan believe that the government may extend his tenure for a third time to ease tensions with the military, but The Express Tribune reports that Pasha had told a western diplomat in an informal chat that he wants to go home sooner rather than later.
After heading the country’s premier spy agency since October 2008, Pasha is due to retire on March 18. He was scheduled to retire in March 2010, but was twice given extensions.
“I have had enough of it … I want to get out of it,” Pasha was quoted as saying by the diplomat, who met the ISI chief recently.
The diplomat also said that Pasha appeared to be “under a lot of stress over the developments that have taken place recently”.
However, the diplomat’s claim could not be independently verified nor was the ISI willing to speak on the subject.
During his tenure a number of events took place, including the much debated November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the Raymond Davis controversy, the Memo Gate scandal, the killing of former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad hideout, and then the NATO attacks on Pakistani checkposts in Salala.
The presence of bin Laden in Abbottabad had raised questions about the ability, or intentions, of the country’s intelligence agencies, including the ISI, to hunt down the world’s most wanted man.
At a joint session of Parliament, convened after the Abbottabad raid, General Pasha had offered to resign over the debacle, but the government refused to accept it.
“That was a mistake. We should have accepted his resignation,” a ruling Pakistan People’s Party member, who was unhappy with the way Pasha pursued the memo issue, said.
Recently, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had also dismissed reports that he was considering a proposal to grant another extension, adding that a decision on this issue would be made at the “appropriate time”.