Islamabad: Pakistan's new ISI chief, Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam, is the nephew of Indian National Army hero Shah Nawaz Khan and through him, shares a tenuous link with Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan.

Islam's father served as a brigadier in the Pakistan Army and Shah Nawaz Khan, who was a major general in the INA led by Subhas Chandra Bose, was his uncle, leading Pakistani defence analyst Ikram Sehgal.

One son of Shah Nawaz Khan went with him at the time of Partition, while another, Mahmood Nawaz, stayed on in Pakistan and became a full colonel.

"In fact, Mahmood Nawaz went and met his father only after retirement as he could not travel to India while he was in service," Sehgal said, providing details of the new ISI chief's extended family.

Shahrukh Khan's late mother Lateef Fatima was the adopted daughter of Shah Nawaz Khan, according to the Bollywood star's biography on several websites.

Islam, who was yesterday appointed the new head of the powerful spy agency by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, comes from a military family and was born in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

It could not immediately be ascertained whether Islam had ever met Shah Nawaz Khan, who died in 1983.