The appointment of Lt-Gen (r) Asif Yasin Malik as Defence Division secretary was made purely on merit, said The Nation quoting Military Sources.
“The appointment was made with consensus of the civil and military leadership,” they said, adding that the decision was made considering General Malik’s deep professional insight into major challenges related to national security on country’s western border.
Lt-Gen (r) Asif Yasin Malik served as commander of the 11 Corps, commonly known as Peshawar Corps, and he successfully surmounted major challenges on Pak-Afghan border, they said. Sources dismissed the notion that his appointment was dramatic or out of turn. He replaced Ms Nargis Sethi, who by virtue of seniority held additional charge of the Defence Division in extraordinary circumstances.
Nargis was asked by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to relinquish her additional charge in order to ensure implementation of cabinet’s decisions, said the sources.
They said that the prime minister had sought nominations for appointment of a fulltime defence secretary from the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani.
Apart from his services in major rehabilitation and counter terrorism projects, Gen Asif had successfully tackled the post-operation conditions in Swat and Malakand and South Waziristan and made significant efforts for fighting terrorism in Fata.
Prior to his elevation to Lt-Gen rank and his appointment as 11 Corps commander, Gen Asif also severed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as Major-General.
Some sources were of the view that since Pakistan is entering into a major agreement with the United States to regulate Nato ground supplies through Pakistan, it was a challenging security assignment they believed required a man like General Asif Malik to handle.