ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan has appointed a new leader for its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence service, which plays a key role in coordinating its foreign policy, including with regard to the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

The military said Wednesday that Lt. Gen. Asim Munir was chosen to replace Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar, who retired earlier this month. Munir previously headed Military Intelligence and was a field commander. He was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, a top medal, earlier this year.

The ISI has long maintained close ties to the Afghan Taliban and other Islamic militant groups. The United States and Afghanistan have repeatedly called on Pakistan to crack down on such militants. Pakistan says it has used its contacts to assist in peace efforts and that it has limited influence over the Afghan Taliban.