SARAS
South Asia Research and Analysis Studies

Why only ISI ?
Ali Sukhanver
7/24/2018

TARGETING the ISI and looking at it with suspicious eyes is nothing new; it is an old tradition all around us particularly in the USA. It is not only the desire of US, India and Israel, there are so many others including Afghanistan who do not wish well for the ISI because they feel this organisation is a threat and a challenge to their hegemonic and notorious designs against Pakistan. Almost seven years back in 2010, the Reuters published a report by Michael Georgy with the title, ‘Pakistan’s ISI, a hidden, frustrating power for US.’ The report said, “Top U.S. defence officials are concerned that some elements of Pakistan’s main spy agency may be interacting improperly with the Taliban and other insurgent groups. ISI is the most powerful intelligence agency in Pakistan, a country the United States sees as indispensable to its efforts to tame a raging Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.” The report further said, “The shadowy military intelligence agency has evolved into what some describe as a state within a state. It is believed to have a hidden role in many of the nuclear-armed nation’s policies, including in Afghanistan.

The ISI is seen as the Pakistani equivalent of the U.S. Central Agency (CIA) — with which it has had a symbiotic but sometimes strained relationship — and Israel’s Mossad.” Another report published by Wikipedia highlighted ISI’s activities in the US said, “The Inter–Services Intelligence has been alleged or previously documented by various authors of running an active military intelligence program in the United States, as well as operational activities related to America outside the country. The ISI has reportedly been suspicious about CIA’s attempted penetration of Pakistani nuclear assets, and CIA’s alleged intelligence gathering in the Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. Based on these suspicions, it was speculated that the ISI was pursuing counter-intelligence against CIA operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” In short everyone including US admits that the ISI has always been doing all best possible in the larger interest of Pakistan, and certainly it is the job and duty of the ISI to keep an eye on the activities of the forces hostile to Pakistan and to counter every effort that may be harmful to Pakistan.
I fails to understand why world is so much worried about the working of the ISI. Every intelligence agency works for the safety and security of the country it belongs to. It must be appreciated that the ISI performing its duty same as the CIA, FBI, MI6, Mossad and other intelligence agencies do for their respective countries. As far as the allegation of being a state within the state is concerned, this allegation has been ‘awarded’ to almost all intelligence agencies of the world. In this particular reference, the term of Deep State is getting very much popular in US now-a-days. This term describes ‘a form of alleged cabal that coordinates efforts by government employees and others to influence state policy without regard for democratically elected leadership’. Alfred W. McCoy, a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison states that the increase in the power of the US intelligence community since the September 11 attacks has built a fourth branch of the US government that is in many ways autonomous from the executive, and increasingly so.
An important point to be noticed here is that in US, which is no doubt a country considered as the very centre of democratic trends and traditions, where there is a lot of resources and which has no threat from any side and anyone, the intelligence agencies are playing a role stronger than the government; they are running there a state within the state but it is very ironical that our friends in America expect from Pakistani intelligence agencies a role which is totally inactive rather passive. What are the reasons behind such non-sense expectations? Must the ISI sit down peacefully and observe silently the notorious activities of the forces hostile to Pakistan. What do the CIA, the MI6 and other intelligence agencies of different countries do when their country is in trouble or facing some internal or external threat? Certainly silence becomes a crime when action is required; so this is what the ISI is doing; it is taking action to save its motherland from the cruel hands of conspirators and intriguers.



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