Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday approved appointment of Aftab Sultan as the new Intelligence Bureau director general.

Even though officials say transfers and postings of intelligence officials was a routine matter, sources say Sharif was advised by some of his close aides to bring in a man of repute like Aftab Sultan as head of the premier civil spy agency that directly reports to the premier himself.

Sultan replaced Abdul Wadood Shah who was holding an acting charge as Intelligence Bureau director general until now.  Shah had earlier been posted as joint director general, the provincial chief of IB, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  Principally, the prime minister is also a minister in charge of the spy agency and is supposed to appoint its heads.  It may be mentioned here that the position of Intelligence Bureau director general is considered to be an important office and works directly under the prime minister.  One of his prime duties is to keep a watch on activities of all the political parties and law and order situation in the country.

 His duty also involves preparing intelligence reports for every premier in advance.

Former premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had previously appointed Sardar Akhtar Hassan Khan Gorchani as the Intelligence Bureau director general on July 12, 2012. He was removed from the post following a reply submitted to the Supreme Court by Gorchani during the hearing of IB's secret fund case.

Sultan, who is a BPS-22 grade officer in the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), had served as the Punjab inspector general during the caretaker government. He also served as the bureau DG during former premier Gillani's tenure. He also served as additional Punjab inspector general.