In groundbreaking revelations that may impact Pakistan’s national security, the discipline within its military, and the reputation of its intelligence apparatus, journalist Asad Toor has claimed in his latest vlog that Lt. Gen. (retd) Faiz Hameed’s arrest could be imminent. The journalist has listed a litany of accusations and complaints against the former ISI chief and former aspirant for the job of Pakistan’s chief of army staff (COAS).
Faiz Hameed was a longtime senior commander at Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) agency, first as its director general for counterintelligence (DGCI) where he oversaw all internal operations, later as the ISI chief when he was promoted to three star general. He is also widely suspected to have ‘conspired‘ with former premier Imran Khan and former COAS Gen. (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa – to get himself promoted as army chief instead of incumbent Gen. Syed Asim Munir.
After he “failed” in his endeavours, Hameed sought early retirement from the army, and doffed his uniform for the final time in December 2022. He was due to retire in April 2023.
Toor said that Faiz Hameed was being investigated for multiple violations of law, such as abusing power for personal enrichment, degrading the army and ISI’s internal discipline and institutional cohesion, and maintaining backchannel contacts with the banned terror group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that has ramped up attacks in the country since November 2022 — after Hameed “could not secure his elevation” to the coveted four star post of COAS.
Believed to be a proponent of talks with the outlawed militant organisation, Hameed travelled to Kabul as ISI chief in September 2021, to “persuade” the Afghan Taliban rulers into pressuring the TTP for negotiations.
Faiz Hameed’s brother Najaf Hameed was recently suspended from his post as a local land demarcation official, or tehsildar, in their hometown of Chakwal. It is also alleged that the former ISI chief used his extraordinary powers to illegally detain housing society owners, currency dealers, businessmen, industrialists and other rich citizens to expropriate wealth for himself and his cronies.
Recently, a former Islamabad station commander who served under Hameed was prevented from boarding a flight to the UK. “How can a colonel get so much money, to settle his family abroad in the UK?” asked Asad Toor, implying that there was an entire network inside the ISI that Hameed had put in place for the purpose of achieving his personal ambitions.
Toor also alleged that this network of Faiz Hameed loyalists continue to do their master’s bidding, even after they were posted out of ISI to other units. If true, this would constitute a serious breach of military discipline, and land many serving and retired officers in trouble, even liable for court martial under relevant provisions of law.
The journalist claimed that as DG ISI, Faiz Hameed had started asserting his power, with blessing and support of then-premier Imran Khan. Even after the military establishment — the senior commanders of the Pakistan Army — decided to “become apolitical” sometime in February 2021, the-then ISI chief continued to meddle in politics.
In his later postings at Peshawar and Bahawalpur, Hameed is alleged to have continued secret meetings with a coterie of political allies he cultivated to get himself appointed as army chief in November 2022.
It may be noted that reports of Hameed’s arrest have been circulating on social media for months.
In late February, Lt. Gen. (retired) Amjad Shuaib, a former chief of Pakistan Army’s military intelligence (MI), was arrested by Islamabad police for remarks he made on a private TV news channel. He was released after serving three days in custody under physical remand, and was acquitted of the charge of incitement against state institutions. In his vlog, Asad Toor has suggested that while Gen. (retired) Shuaib was in custody, investigators obtained evidence of his contacts with Gen. (retired) Faiz through his electronic devices.