Dr Muhammad Suleman Khan, a thorough professional, an outstanding officer, having astounding successes, completely dedicated and with no political alignment is the new Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB). Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has finally appointed him as Director General (DG) of the civilian spy agency, the Intelligence Bureau (IB). The coveted slot had been lying vacant for more than a month after the retirement of Aftab Sultan.
Dr Muhammad Suleman Khan serving as Intelligence Bureau’s (IB’s) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chief and promoted to grade-22 and posted as IB DG after the post fell vacant after the third extension of former Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officer Aftab Sultan ended in the first week of April this year. A notification issued by Establishment Division said, “Dr Suleman Khan, a BS-22 officer of police service of Pakistan, who is serving in Intelligence Bureau, is promoted to BPS-22 in that service with immediate effect. On promotion, the officer is transferred and posted as Director General Intelligence Bureau (IB) until further order.”
Dr Suleman Khan widely believed to be the choice for the intelligence agency’s top job. During his time in IB, he got over 1,000 jet black terrorists and criminals with head money arrested. Important cases resolved in his career at IB include attacks on Peshawar Judicial Complex, attack on Islamabad district courts, Wagah border blast and Peshawar Meena Bazaar blast, which involved dozens of foreign terrorists. The new Director General Intelligence Bureau (IB) has many Herculean tasks ahead of him. He has developed his authority over international proscribed organizations.
He worked to destroy the Daesh’s regional networks before anybody even knew about their presence in Pakistan.
Dr Suleman Khan has also been involved in successful operations against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, 313 Brigade, Jamaat ul Ahrar and Al Qaeda in the country. As a senior police officer, he has also extended cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and security forces as Consolidated Civillian Personnel Office (CCPO) Peshawar, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Mardan and Hazara in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The new Director General also served in Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and perhaps he was a pioneer in establishing the CTD in KP province. It is also said that he has no political alignment.
It is hoped he takes Intelligence Bureau (IB) to the next level of modernization and efficiency. “He uses the most modern tools very effectively for the collection of CT intelligence. He established IBCounter Terrorism Department (CTD) liaison which provided excellent results in counter-terrorism drive,” the colleague said. The role of civilian agencies has become crucial ahead of the polls, in terms of facilitating the civilian government to deal with multipronged challenges ranging from counter-terrorism to dealing with hostile agencies in the country. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) does not report to any ministry and functions under the PM.
Originally, the Prime Minister considered three names – Intelligence Bureau (IB) Academy Commandant Mehr Khaliq Dad Lak, Intelligence Bureau (IB) Joint Director Fawad Asadullah and Dr Suleman.
A number of other names were also reportedly considered including that of Punjab Inspector General Police Arif Nawaz Khan, Federal Investigation Agency Director General (DG) Bashir Memon, National Counter Terrorism Authority’s National Coordinator Ihsan Ghani, Intelligence Bureau (IB) Joint Director Shujaatullah Qureshi and National Police Bureau Director General (DG) Shaukat Hayat. Of these candidates, only Fawad Asadullah and Shujaatullah Qureshi belong to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) – both in BPS-21.
All other officers belong to Police Service of Pakistan and are now serving in BPS-22.
Contributed by Amna Malik
Author is the President, Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR) and Editor-in-Chief ‘Mélange Intl. Magazine’ and ‘ The Asian Telegraph’