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Pakistan appoints new chief for its premier spy agency, ISI

  • In this undated handout photo released by Pakistan's rangers, Maj. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar, right, walks with Prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan's army on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, named a new chief to head the country's premier intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, which is also known by its acronym ISI. (AP Photo/Pakistan Rangers)

    In this undated handout photo released by Pakistan's rangers, Maj. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar, right, walks with Prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan's army on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, named a new chief to head the country's premier intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, which is also known by its acronym ISI. (AP Photo/Pakistan Rangers)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this undated handout photo released by Pakistan's rangers, Maj. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar, visits the rangers headquarters in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan's army on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, named a new chief to head the country's premier intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, which is also known by its acronym ISI. (AP Photo/Pakistan Rangers)

    In this undated handout photo released by Pakistan's rangers, Maj. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar, visits the rangers headquarters in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan's army on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, named a new chief to head the country's premier intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, which is also known by its acronym ISI. (AP Photo/Pakistan Rangers)  (The Associated Press)

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.