Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, a close confidant of Pakistan’s Army Chief, took over on Friday as the head of powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Akhtar assumed charge of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) following the retirement of his predecessor Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam.
Becoming one of the two most powerful men in Pakistan, answerable only to the army chief, Akhtar was was promoted as a three-star general and appointed Director General ISI in September, more than a month in advance by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
A graduate of the command and Staff College in Quetta, National Defense University and the Army War College, USA, Akhtar joined the army in 1982.
He is from the Frontier Force Regiment and commanded the infantry brigade and infantry division in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Akhtar has assumed office as Pakistan is facing critical challenges on international and domestic level, as the landscape of militancy in Pakistan is changing with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan getting forming new alliances for its survival and Middle East-based terrorist group Islamic State (Daesh) making entry into Pakistan.
On the other hand, the senior US officials are highly critical of Pakistan accusing the Pakistani government for dulicity despite billions of dollars were pumped into Islamabad after 9/11, with much of the fundds channelled through ISI.
In the meantime, the US Department of Defense accused Pakistan in its latest report for using militant groups as ‘proxy forces’ to carry out attacks in Afghanistan.