IB chief set to get two-year extension


ISLAMABAD: In an ominous move which could draw a clear line of differences between the two mighty state institutions of the country – the Prime Minister’s Secretariat and the Supreme Court of Pakistan – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to prefer loyalty over rules and regulations by granting two-year extension to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief. A highly placed source in the Intelligence Bureau revealed to this correspondent on Wednesday that the prime minister was all set to grant a 24-month extension in service to Aftab Sultan, the just retired director general of IB, and one of his loyal associates, in clear violation of a ruling of the Supreme Court which clearly states no official should be given extension beyond his entitled tenure after retirement. Sources in the PM Secretariat confirmed that Nawaz Sharif approved the two-year extension of Aftab Sultan as DG IB. Even though officials say transfers, postings and extensions granted to the intelligence officials are a routine affair, sources say Nawaz was advised by some of his close aides to allow Sultan continue heading the IB due to his apparently clean reputation and upright disposition. Principally, the prime minister is also minister-in-charge of the civilian spy agency and is supposed to appoint its heads. It may be mentioned here that the office of the DG IB is considered to be an important one and works directly under the prime minister, and reports only to him. Unofficially, one of the prime duties of this office is to keep a watch on the activities of all the political parties. Sultan is a BPS-22 grade officer in the Police Service of Pakistan and officially reached the retirement age on Wednesday, April 2.

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