New intelligence chief named for Pakistan

March 10, 2012 at 9:24 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 10 (UPI) -- A Pakistani general with ties to the U.S. military has been named to head the country's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence Agency.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced Friday Lt. Gen. Zaheer ul-Islam will replace Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, The Washington Post reported. Pasha, who has headed the ISI since 2008, is retiring.

The change comes at a time when relations between the United States and Pakistan have frayed. The raid on Osama bin Laden's house in Abbottabad last year, without advance notice to Pakistani authorities, and the accidental killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in November by U.S. aircraft, were major strains.

Islam has been deputy director of the ISI and more recently the top military commander in Karachi, Pakistan's major port city.

"During his career, Zaheer traveled to the United States to participate in U.S. military-sponsored training and international fellowship programs," a U.S. official who did not want to be named told the Post.

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