Inter-Services Intelligence

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Inter-Services Intelligence

The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (also Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI) is the largest and most powerful of the three main branches of the intelligence agencies of Pakistan.

ISI is responsible for gathering and cataloging foreign and domestic intelligence, and the smooth coordination of intelligence between Pakistan's three main military branches. Obtaining intelligence can come either from surveillence, interception, monitoring of communication, or conducting offensive, intelligence gathering or espionage missions during times of war. Apart from gathering information, the ISI is also responsible for training spies, security of the Pakistani nuclear program, and the security of top Pakistani army generals.


[edit] History

After independence in 1947, two new intelligence agencies were created in Pakistan called the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Military Intelligence (MI). However, the weak performance of the MI in sharing intelligence between the Army, Navy and Air Force during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 lead to the creation of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The ISI was structured to be manned by officers from the three main military services, and to specialize in the collection, analysis and assessment of external intelligence, either military or non-military. An Australian-born British Army officer, Major General R. Cawthome, then Deputy Chief of Staff in the Pakistan Army, created the ISI in 1948.<ref name="Totse">Template:Cite web</ref> Initially, the ISI had no role in the collection of internal intelligence, with the exception of the North-West Frontier Province and Azad Kashmir. This however changed in the late 1950s when Ayub Khan became the President of Pakistan.

Ayub Khan expanded the role of ISI in safeguarding Pakistan’s interests, monitoring opposition politicians, and sustaining military rule in Pakistan.<ref name="Totse">Template:Cite web</ref> The ISI was reorganised in 1966 after intelligence failures in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, and expanded in 1969. Ayub Khan suspected the loyalty of the East Pakistan based officers in the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau or the Internal Bureau (IB) branch in Dacca, the capital of then East Pakistan. He entrusted the ISI with the responsibility for the collection of internal political intelligence in East Pakistan. Later on, during the Baloch nationalist revolt in Balochistan in the mid 1970s, the ISI was tasked with performing a similar intelligence gathering operation.

The ISI lost its importance during the regime of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was very critical of its role during the 1970 general elections, which triggered off the events leading to the partition of Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh.<ref name="Totse">Template:Cite web</ref>

The ISI regained its lost glory after Gen. Zia ul-Haq seized power in July 1977. Under his reign, the ISI was expanded by making it responsible for the collection of intelligence about the Sindh based Communist party and monitoring the Shia organization after the Iranian revolution of 1979, as well as monitoring various political parties such as the Pakistan People's Party (PPP).<ref name="Totse">Template:Cite web</ref> During the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s saw the enhancement of the covert action capabilities of the ISI by the CIA. A number of officers from the ISI's Covert Action Division received training in the US and many covert action experts of the CIA were attached to the ISI to guide it in its operations against the Soviet troops by using the Afghan Mujahideen, Islamic fundamentalists of Pakistan and Arab volunteers.

In 1988, Pakistani President Zia ul-Haq initiated Operation Tupac which was designation of a three part action plan for the liberation of Kashmir, initiated after the failure of Operation Gibraltar. The name of the operation came from Túpac Amaru II, the 18th century prince who led the war of liberation in Peru against Spanish rule. By May 1996, at least six major militant organizations, and several smaller ones, operated in Kashmir. Their forces are variously estimated at between 5,000 and 10,000 armed men and were mostly of Indian-Kashmiri origin.<ref name="Totse">Template:Cite web</ref> They were roughly divided between those who support independence and those who support accession to Pakistan. The ISI is believed to have played a key role in masterminding the Kargil War.

During 1998-1999 the ISI Director General was sidelined due to his relationship with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and General Muhammad Aziz Khan was in operation control and directly answerable only to General Pervez Mushraff. During this time the ISI was contributing greately to the Taliban.

Under President Pervez Musharraf's government, the ISI have been heavily engaged in counterterrorism against both Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants as well as tribal/sectarian terrorists in Pakistan.

[edit] Organizational structure

ISI's headquarters are located in Islamabad and currently the head of the ISI is called the Director General who has to be a serving Lieutenant General in the Pakistan Army. Under the Director General, three Deputy Director Generals report directly to him and are in charge in three separate fields of the ISI which are Political, External and General.

The general staff of the ISI mainly come from police, Paramilitary Forces and some specialized units from the Pakistan Army such as the SSG commandos. The total work force of the ISI has never been made public but experts estimate the size to be around 25,000.

ISI is divided into several departments who are each tasked with various duties with the over all aim to safe guard Pakistan's interests.

[edit] Departments

  • Joint Intelligence X: JIX is the coordinator of all the other departments in the ISI. Intelligence and information gathered from the other departments are sent to JIX which prepares and processes the information and from which prepares reports which are presented.<ref name="ISI Departments">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Joint Intelligence Bureau: JIB is the largest part of the ISI and was perhaps the most powerful component of the ISI in the late 1980s. It's main area of work is to gather intelligence on political parties. It also has three sub-sections which include operations in India, conducting anti-terrorism operations and providing security to VIP personality.<ref name="ISI Departments">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Joint Counter Intelligence Bureau: JCIB is Pakistan's version of the NOC's of the CIA. Pakistani diplomats who conduct intelligence gathering operations report directly to this department. The area in which most of this kind of operations are conducted are in the Middle East, South Asia, China, Afghanistan and the Central Asian republics. It is alleged that the ISI has expanded the range of the diplomats to conduct intelligence gathering operations in Europe, Africa and South America as well.<ref name="ISI Departments">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Joint Intelligence North: JIN is exclusively responsible for the Jammu and Kashmir region and in particular the Indian troop movement along the LOC (Line of Control). However, due to recent peace overtures between India and Pakistan, the size of this department is being reduced.<ref name="ISI Departments">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous: JIM is responsible for conducting espionage, offensive spy missions, surveillence and any other activities during war time.<ref name="ISI Departments">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Joint Signal Intelligence Bureau: JSIB has three Deputy Directors who are each charged with wireless communication intercepts, Monitoring enemy agents and other assets and conducting reconnaissance operations such as photographs. Most of the work force in this department are recruited from the Military College of Signals Academy and others come from the Army Signal Corps.<ref name="ISI Departments">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Joint Intelligence Technical: JIT is responsible for developing gadgets, monitoring equipment, explosives and even has known to have a chemical warfare section. Other than that, not much is known about this department.<ref name="ISI Departments">Template:Cite web</ref>

[edit] Recruitment and training

Both civilians and members of the armed forces can join the ISI. For civilians, recruitment is advertised and is jointly handled by the Federal Public Services Commission (FPSC) and civilian ISI agents are considered employees of the Ministry of Defense. The FPSC conducts various examinations testing the candidate's knowledge of current affairs, English and various analytical abilities. Based on the results, the FPSC shortlists the candidates and sends the list to the ISI who conduct the initial background checks. The selected candidates are then invited for an interview which is conducted by a joint committee comprising both ISI and FPSC officials.

Those candidates who passed the interview then have to go through rigorous fitness, medical and psychological evaluations. Once the candidate clears these evaluations, the ISI performs a very through background check on the candidate before being offered to join the ISI. Security clearance is granted once the candidate accepts the offer. Recruited agents then go to the Inter-Services Intelligence School for basic training following which they are employed on an initial one year probationary period. However, civilian operatives are not allowed to rise above the equivalent of the rank of Major and are mostly assigned to JIX, JIB and JCIB departments and the rest of the departments are solely headed by the armed forces but there have been rare cases in which civilians have been assigned to those departments.

For the armed forces, officers have to apply for admission into the Inter-Services Intelligence School. After finishing the intelligence course, they can apply to be posted in Field Intelligence Units or in the directorate of Military/Air/Naval intelligence. Then they wait and hope that their performance is good enough to be invited to the ISI for a temporary posting. Based on their performance in the military and the temporary posting with ISI, they are then offered a more permanent position.

Senior ISI officers with ranks of Major and above are only assigned to the ISI for no more than 2-3 years to curtail the attempt to abuse their power. Almost all of the Director-Generals of the ISI have never served in the organization before being appointed by the Military commanders to lead it. ISI also monitors former, current and retired military officers who at one point or another held sensitive positions and had access to classified data.

[edit] De-Classified operations

[edit] Successes

Listed below are de-classified operations in which the ISI completely/partially fulfilled their missions.

  • In the 1950s, the ISI's Covert Action Division was used in assisting the insurgents in India's North-East and its role was expanded in the late 1960s to assist the Sikh Home Rule Movement of London-based Charan Singh Panchi, which was subsequently transformed into the Khalistan Movement, headed by Jagjit Singh Chauhan in which many other members of the Sikh diaspora in Europe, USA and Canada joined and then demanded the separate country of Khalistan. CIA and ISI worked in tandem during the Nixon Administration in assisting the Khalistan movement in Punjab.<ref name="South Asia Analysis Group ">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • ISI decided to spy on the residence of Colonel Hussain Imam Mabruk who was a Military Attaché to the Embassy of Libya in Islamabad as he had made some inflammatory statements towards the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq. The spying paid off as he was seen talking with two Pakistani gentlemen who entered and left the compound suspiciously. The ISI monitored the two men and were later identified as Pakistani exiles that hated the current military regime and were Bhutto loyalists. They had received terrorist training in Libya and were ready to embark on a terrorist campaign in Pakistan to force the Army to step down from power. All members of the conspiracy were apprehended before any damage could be done.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • ISI foiled an attempt by the French Ambassador to Pakistan, Le Gourrierce and his First Secretary, Jean Forlot who were on a surveillance mission to Kahuta nuclear complex on June 26, 1979. Both were intercepted and their cameras and other sensitive equipment were confiscated. Intercepted documents later on showed that the two were recruited by the CIA.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • After the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, the U.S. media outlets such as Newsweek and Time reported that CIA agents stationed in Tehran had obtained information in regards to the location of the hostages, in-house information from a Pakistani cook who used to work for the U.S. Embassy. ISI successfully gathered evidence, and intercepted communication documents and showed it to the Iranian Chief of J-2 which cleared the cook. The Iranian chief of intelligence said, “We know, the Big Satan is a big liar.”<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • ISI successfully intercepted two American private weapons dealers during the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980’s. One American (his name has not been de-classified) who lived in the F-7/4 sector of Islamabad was bugged and trailed and was found to be in contact with various tribal groups supplying them with weapons. Another was Eugene Clegg, a teacher in the American International School who also indulged in weapons trade. Both were put out of business.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • ISI had placed a mole in the Soviet Embassy in Islamabad. The mole reported that the Third Secretary in the Soviet Embassy was after information in regards to the Karakurum Highway and was obtaining it from a middle level employee (Mr. Ejaz) of Northern Motor Transport Company. ISI contacted Ejaz who then confessed that a few months ago the Soviet diplomat approached him and threatened his family unless he divulged sensitive information in regards to the highway such as alignment of the road, location of bridges, the number of Chinese personnel working on the Highway, etc. The ISI then decided to feed the Soviet diplomat with false information. This continued until the Soviet diplomat was satisfied that Ejaz had been bled white of all the information and then dropped him.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • ISI was very worried that among the large influx of Afghan refugees that come into Pakistan due to the Soviet-Afghan war were members of KHAD (Afghan Intelligence). In order to gather information on these spies, the ISI successfully turned Mansoor Ahmed who was the Charge-de-Affairs of the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad. He and his family were secretly escorted out of their residence and were given safe passage on a London bound British Airways flight in exchange for classified information in regards to Afghan agents in Pakistan. The Soviet and Afghan diplomats tried their best to find the family but were unsuccessful.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • A routine background checks on various staff members working for the Indian embassy raised suspicions on an Indian woman who worked as a school teacher in an Indian School in Islamabad. Her enthusiastic and too friendly attitude gave her up. She was in reality was an agent working for RAW. ISI monitored her movements to a hotel in Islamabad where she rendezvoused with a local Pakistani man who worked as an engineer for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. ISI then confronted her and were then able to turn her into a double agent spying on the Indian Embassy in Islamabad.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • ISI became aware of a plot to assassinate the President of Pakistan, Zia-ul-Haq and then launch a bloody coup to depose the current government and install an extreme Islamic government in its place. The attempted assassination and coup was to occur on March 23, 1980 during the annual March 23rd Pakistan day parade. The masterminds behind the coup were high ranking Military and Intelligence officers and were led by Major General Tajammal Hussain Malik, his son, Captain Naveed and his nephew Major Riaz, a former Military Intelligence officer. ISI decided against arresting these men outright because they did not know how deep this conspiracy went and kept these men under strict surveillance. As the date of the annual parade approached, these men were arrested along with quite a few high ranking military officers.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • Ilam Din also knows as Ilmo was an infamous Indian spy working from Pakistan. He had eluded being captured many times but on March 23 at 3 A.M., Ilmo and two other Indian spies were apprehended by Pakistani Rangers as they were illegally crossing into Pakistan from India. Their mission was to spy and report back on the new military equipment that Pakistan will be showing in their annual March 23rd Pakistan day parade. Ilmo after being thoroughly interrogated was then forced by the ISI to send false information to his RAW handlers in India. This process continued and many more Indian spies in Pakistan were flushed out such as Roop Lal.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • ISI uncovered a secret deal in which naval base facilities were granted by Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to the USSR in Vizag and the Andaman & Nicobar Island and the alleged attachment of KGB advisers to the then Lieutenant General Sunderji who was the commander of Operation Bluestar in the Golden Temple in Amritsar in June 1984.<ref name="South Asia Analysis Group ">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • ISI, CIA and Mossad carried out a covert transfer of Soviet made PLO and Lebanese weapons captured by the Israelis during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982 and their subsequent transfer to Pakistan and then into Afghanistan. All knowledge of this weapon transfer was kept secret and was only made public recently.
  • ISI played a central role in the U.S.-backed guerrilla war to oust the Soviet Army from Afghanistan in the 1980s. That Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-backed effort flooded Pakistan with weapons and with Afghan, Pakistani and Arab "mujahideen", who were motivated to fight as a united force protecting fellow Muslims in Soviet occupied Afghanistan. The CIA relied on the ISI to train fighters, distribute arms, and channel money. The ISI trained about 83,000 Afghan mujahideen between 1983 and 1997, and dispatched them to Afghanistan.
  • CIA through the ISI promoted the smuggling of heroin into Afghanistan in order to turn the Soviet troops into heroin addicts and thus greatly reducing their fighting potential.<ref name="South Asia Analysis Group ">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Major General Sultan Habib who was an operative of the ISI's Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous department successfully procured nuclear material while being posted as the Defense Attaché in the Pakistani Embassy in Moscow from 1991 to 1993 and concurrently obtaining other materials from Central Asian Republics, Poland and the former Czechoslovakia. After Moscow, Major General Habib then coordinated shipping of missiles from North Korea and the training of Pakistani experts in the missile production. These two acts greatly enhanced Pakistan's Nuclear weapons program and their missile delivery systems.<ref name="South Asia Analysis Group ">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • ISI engineered the takeover of Afghanistan by the hard-line Islamic Taliban regime after the fall of the Communist government in Kabul in 1992.
  • Altaf Hussain, the leader of the MQM political party which represented the Muhajir (Immigrants from India during the partition of 1947) population in Karachi started a terror campaign by bombing, random murders and political assassinations to force the Pakistani government into creating an independent country for the Pakistan's Muhajir population. Hussain who had the backing of India and was living in exile in London, England and out of the reach of the Pakistani Justice but nevertheless, the ISI systematically dismantled his terror campaign and MQM has since supposedly renounced its militant ways.
  • ISI played a major role by informing British agencies in advance about terrorist plan to simultaneously blow up 10 airplanes over the Atlantic using liquid explosives in August 2006.

[edit] Failures

  • The 1965 war in Kashmir provoked a major crisis in intelligence. When the war started, there was a complete collapse of the operations of all the intelligence agencies, which had been largely devoted to domestic investigative work such as tapping telephone conversations and chasing political suspects. The ISI, after the commencement of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, was apparently unable to locate an Indian armored division due to its preoccupation with political affairs. Ayub Khan set up a committee headed by General Yahya Khan to examine the working of the agencies.
  • In 1981, a Libyian Security company called Al Murtaza Associates sends recruiters to Pakistan to entice former soldiers and servicemen for high paying security jobs in Libya. In reality, Libya was recruiting mercenaries to fight with Chad and Egypt as it had border disputes with both nations. Only later did the ISI become aware of the plot and the whole scheme was stopped, but nearly 2,700 Pakistanis had already left for those jobs.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • The PAF Field Intelligence Unit at their base in Karachi in July 1980 captured an Indian agent. He was interrogated and revealed that a large network of Indian spies is functioning in Karachi. These spies in addition to espionage have also assassinated a few armed personnel. He also said the leader of the spy ring is being headed by Food and Beverages Manager, Intercontinental Hotel, Karachi and a number of serving Air Force officers and ratings were on his payroll. The ISI decided to survey the manager and see who was he in contacts with but the President of Pakistan superseded and wanted the manager and anyone else involved in the case arrested. It was later proven that the manager was completely innocent.<ref name="Profiles of Intelligence">Brigadier Syed A. I. Tirmazi (1985). Profiles of Intelligence. Combined Printers. Library of Congress Catalogue No. 95-930455.</ref>
  • ISI failed to perform a proper background check on the British Company which supplied the Pakistan Army with its Arctic-weather gear. When Pakistan attempted to secure the top of the Siachen Glacier in 1984, it placed a large order for Arctic-weather gear with the same company that also supplied the Indian Army with its gear. Indians were easily alerted to the large Pakistani purchase and deduced that this large purchase could be used to equip troops to capture the glacier. India then mounted an operation (Operation Meghdoot) and secured the top of the glacier before Pakistan.
  • ISI failed to calculate the International reaction to the Kargil operation in summer of 1999. Subsequent heavy pressure by foreign countries such as USA forced the Pakistani backed forces to withdraw from Kargil.

[edit] Controversies

Critics of the ISI say that it has become a state within a state, answerable neither to the leadership of the army, nor to the President or the Prime Minister.<ref name= "BBC News">Template:Cite web</ref> The ISI has been deeply involved in domestic politics of Pakistan since the late 1950s. The 1990 elections for example were widely believed to have been rigged by the ISI in favor of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) party, a conglomerate of nine mainly rightist parties by the ISI under Lt. General Hameed Gul, to ensure the defeat of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in the polls.<ref name= "FAS">Template:Cite web</ref> Gul has denied that the vote was rigged. In September-October 1989, two ISI officers launched Operation Midnight Jackals in a bid to sway PPP members of the National Assembly to back a vote of no confidence against the Bhutto government.<ref name= "Defence Journal">Template:Cite web</ref>

ISI's Internal Political Division has been accused by various members of the Pakistan People's Party in assassinating Shah Nawaz Bhutto, one of the two brothers of Benazir Bhutto, through poisoning in the French Riviera in the middle of 1985 in an attempt to intimidate her into not returning to Pakistan for directing the movement against Zia's Military government, but no proof has been found implicating the ISI.<ref name="South Asia Analysis Group ">Template:Cite web</ref>

The ISI was also involved in a massive corruption scandal dubbed "Mehrangate," in which top ISI and Army brass were given large sums of money by Yunus Habib (the owner of Mehran Bank) to deposit ISI’s foreign exchange reserves in Mehran Bank.<ref name="Ghazali">Template:Cite web</ref> This was against government policy, as such banking which involves government institutions can only be done through state-owned financial institutions and not private banks. When the new director of the ISI was appointed and then proceeded to withdraw the money from Mehran Bank and back into state-owned financial institutions, the money had been used up in financing Habib's “extra-curricular” activities. On April 20, 1994, Habib was arrested and the scandal became public.

India has blamed the ISI for training, arming and giving logistics to the militants who are fighting the Indian security forces in Indian occupied Kashmir.<ref name="South Asia Analysis Group ">Template:Cite web</ref> FAS reports that the Inter-Service Intelligence, is the main supplier of funds and arms to the terrorist groups <ref name="FAS">Template:Cite web</ref>. The British Government had stated there is a 'clear link' between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and three major militant outfits <ref name="ISI">Template:Cite web</ref> The Guardian newspaper had uncovered evidence that Pakistani terrorists were openly raising funds and training new recruits and that the ISI's Kashmir cell was instrumental in funding and controlling these outfits. <ref name="Guardian">Template:Cite web - The Guardian</ref>India also accused ISI of masterminding the 1993 Mumbai bombings, with backing from Dawood Ibrahim's D-Company.<ref name="South Asia Analysis Group">Template:Cite web</ref> Aside from Kashmir, India accuses the ISI of running training camps near the border of Bangladesh in late 1990s where India claims the ISI trains members of various separatist groups from the northeastern Indian states. The ISI has denied these accusations.<ref name="Totse">Template:Cite web</ref>

In January 1993, the United States placed Pakistan on the watch list of such countries which were suspected of sponsoring international terrorism. This decision was made in part because the current head of the ISI in 1993, Lt. Gen. Nasir, had become a stumbling block in American efforts to buy back hundreds of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air FIM-92 Stinger missiles from the Afghan Mujahideen and was assisting organizations such as Harkat ul-Ansar, which had been branded as a terrorist organization by the US.<ref name="Totse">Template:Cite web</ref> Once Nasir's tenure as ISI chief ended, the US removed Pakistan from the terrorism watch list. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the ISI was purged of members who did not support President Pervez Musharraf's stance towards the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

In the BBC Newsnight Programme on 27th September 2006, a research paper prepared for the Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom), was quoted linking the ISI with support for the Taliban and other terrorist acts in the west.<ref>Iraq war 'recruiting extremists' - BBC</ref> The report states, "The US/UK cannot begin to turn the tide until they identify the real enemies from attacking ideas tactically - and seek to put in place a more just vision. This will require Pakistan to move away from Army rule and for the ISI to be dismantled and more significantly something to be put in its place." <ref>ISI linked with attacks in the West - BBC</ref> This was denied by President Musharraf, "I totally, 200% reject it. I reject it from anybody - MoD or anyone who tells me to dismantle ISI." <ref>Musharraf defends his spy service - BBC</ref> The Council on Foreign Relations, a US foreign policy think tank published an article casting doubt on some of the accusations, 'Though Pakistan does offer safe haven to Kashmiri groups, and perhaps some Taliban fighters, the suggestion that the ISI is responsible for the 7/7 bombings of London’s mass transit system is “a real stretch,” [Kathy] Gannon says.' <ref>The ISI and Terrorism: Behind the Accusations - CFR</ref>. However, a later report by the same think tank, The Council on Foreign Relations, stated there was probably support for terrorism from rogue elements of the ISI [1].

Amnesty International publish a report on 29 September 2006 accusing Pakistan of detaining hundreds of alleged terror suspects without legal process. The group says some were tortured or otherwise ill-treated, others were sold to the US military, and others have vanished without trace. "Journalists and human rights activists have told Amnesty International that most terror suspects deemed important by Pakistani intelligence were held in "safe houses" run by "the agencies" – Pakistan’s intelligence agencies including the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI)." <ref>Pakistan - Human rights ignored in the ‘war on terror’ - Amnesty International</ref> 'In many cases, U.S. agents paid a bounty of $5,000 (2,667 UK pounds) to those, usually intelligence agents, who simply declared people terrorists, seized them and handed them over for interrogation with no legal process, Amnesty said. "Enforced disappearances were almost unheard of in Pakistan before the start of the U.S-led war on terror -- now they are a growing phenomenon, spreading beyond terror suspects," Amnesty researcher Angelika Pathak said.' <ref>Pakistan accused of terror abductions- Reuters</ref> Gen Musharraf strongly denied the allegations that some alleged terror suspects had vanished without trace, "I don't want even to reply to that, it is a nonsense, I don't believe it, I don't trust it". <ref>West 'will fail' without Pakistan - BBC</ref> 'Gen Musharraf has boasted of the arrests as proof of his commitment to the fight against al-Qaida. In his new memoirs, In the Line of Fire, he claims that the CIA has paid Pakistan hundreds of millions of dollars in bounty payments for the capture of 369 al-Qaida suspects since 2001.' <ref>Terror suspects tortured, claims Amnesty report - The Guardian</ref>

Some members of the American media and political establishment have questioned Pakistan's commitment in combating the Taliban and Al Qaeda remnants in border areas. In response, Pakistan has pointed to the deployment of nearly 80,000 troops in the border areas and the arrests of more than 700 Al Qaeda members carried out by mostly ISI members, the most high profile ones including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, as proof that the ISI was serious in its commitment to fighting the War on Terrorism.<ref name="BBC ">Template:Cite web</ref> However, the recent deal with the rebels to end the Waziristan War has been seen by many observers as a defeat for Pakistan,<ref>A battle lost By Tony Blankley The Washington Times September 27, 2006</ref> that has strengthened Taliban powerbase in Waziristan.<ref>Pakistan Cedes North Waziristan to Taliban - Threats Watch</ref> Moreover, NATO's top commanders have criticized ISI's continued role in supplying weapons and providing sanctuary to the terrorists<ref>Nato's top brass accuse Pakistan over Taliban aid - The Daily Telegraph, 06/10/2006 </ref> but have approved the deal. <ref>NATO wants to copy Pakistan's militant peace deal</ref>

[edit] Former directors

[edit] Media Portrayal

The ISI has rarely been portrayed on the silver screen and on Television by the Pakistani Media as they are shy to explore such a sensitive institution of Pakistan.

However foreign media such as Hollywood and Bollywood are now starting to portray ISI in movies and television programming given the current nature on the fight with global terrorism and Pakistan being the forefront of this fight.

Some of the Media Portrayal of ISI are:

  • Ek, a Hindi movie in which a CIA, ISI and R&AW agents work together to stop terrorists from blowing up a Nuclear weapon in Mumbai.
  • Charlie Wilson's War, a Hollywood movie which shows how USA armed and trained the Afghan Mujahideen with the help of Pakistan's ISI.
  • Path to 9/11, an American Television mini-series which shows how events lead up to 9/11 and highlights the ISI's assistance in capturing the terrorist Ramzi Yousef.

[edit] Notes


[edit] Further reading

  • ISBN 0-9733687-6-4. By Abid Ullah Jan; From BCCI| to ISI: The Saga of Entrapment Continues
  • ISBN 0-85052-860-7, By ISI brigadier Mohammad Yousaf; Afghanistan the Bear Trap: The Defeat of a Superpower.
  • ISBN 1-59420-007-6, By Steve Coll; Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.
  • ISBN 1-57488-550-2, Brassey's International Intelligence Yearbook.
  • ISBN 0-415-30797-X, By Jerrold E Schneider, P R Chari, Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Stephen Phillip Cohen; Perception, Politics and Security in South Asia: The Compound Crisis in 1990
  • ISBN 0-8021-4124-2, By George Crile; Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History
  • ISBN 1-84277-113-2, By Jonathan Bloch; Global Intelligence : The World's Secret Services Today
  • ISBN 0-385-50672-4, By James Bamford; A Pretext for War : 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies

[edit] External links

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Inter-Services Intelligence

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