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Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani speaks during an interview with Reuters at his residence in Islamabad September 27, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Mian Khursheed
By Mahawish Rezvi and Rebecca Conway
Fri Mar 9, 2012 9:40am EST
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani appointed a new director-general of the country's powerful spy agency on Friday, Gilani's office said in a statement.
"The prime minister has appointed Lieutenant-General Zaheer-ul-Islam as the new DG-ISI", the statement said, referring to the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Islam is the commander of the V Corps, one of the most important in the army and based in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and its commercial hub.
He takes over from Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, who was appointed in 2008, and who oversaw some of the stormiest times in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
Pasha's departure is likely to come as a relief to the American intelligence community which had a working, if frosty, relationship with him. That relationship became more difficult after U.S. special forces found and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a town about a two-hour drive from the ISI's Islamabad headquarters in May last year.
Bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, by some accounts for up to five years, raised suspicions in Washington that Pakistan's main spy agency had been doing business with, or sheltering, America's number one enemy.
(Writing by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)
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