Islamabad: Underlining that the ISI is an important arm of Pakistan`s security establishment, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today in a pep talk to its new chief said the spy agency should work "in consonance with the aspirations of the people."
The premier made the remarks during his first meeting with new ISI chief, Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam, who assumed office today after his predecessor, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, completed his tenure.
"The ISI was an important arm of the security establishment assigned to safeguard the national interests in consonance with the aspirations of the people of Pakistan", Gilani was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office.
Gilani expressed his confidence that the ISI would serve "the national interest in the best manner" under Islam`s leadership.
The new spy chief thanked the premier for "reposing confidence in him for undertaking responsibilities pertaining to national security". Islam, the former commander of the Karachi Corps, has taken over as the ISI chief at a time when Pakistan`s Parliament is set to announce new terms of engagement with the US.
A joint sitting of the two houses of parliament that will begin tomorrow will debate the terms of engagement and decide the future contours of Pakistan-US ties.
Pasha, along with Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, played a key role in shaping Pakistan`s role in the US-led war on terrorism.
However, he became embroiled in several controversies towards the end of his tenure, including the security establishment`s failure to detect Osama bin Laden`s presence in Pakistan before he was killed in a US military raid last year.