Pakistani army says it has appointed a new chief for the country's premier intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, also known by its acronym ISI.

An army statement says Maj. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general on Monday will head the spy agency.

The statement says five more officers have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant general to replace officers who retire in October.

Akhtar, who previously headed a Pakistani paramilitary force in the southern city of Karachi, is replacing Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam.

Both the military and the ISI wield tremendous power in Pakistan, even after a successful transition of power to civilians last year.