General Pasha gave future roadmap to ISI
A number of retired army officials and defence analysts in Islamabad say it is imperative to look at Pasha’s achievements dispassionately and without personal bias and prejudices.
These officials believe that Pasha’s tenure, one of the most difficult ever for a spymaster, was unprecedented and extraordinary in most respects. A discourse with some retired intelligence officials and military analysts has brought out an intelligent roadmap, cleverly woven by General Pasha for the agency, to safeguard Pakistan’s present and future interests. It may act as a pivot to threats of the future.
The analysts believe that according to the roadmap charted by General Pasha, the ISI will now stand up to the enormous pressure of CIA and other world agencies. They believe that the days when Langley and Pentagon dictated all scripts to Pakistan have ended.
Moreover, General Pasha’s legacy is that Pakistan will not accept blunt dictation from Washington on Afghanistan and Taliban and will take care of its own national interests. “I think that General Kayani and Pasha had seen the endgame in Afghanistan several years back and formulated a policy which put Pakistan’s interests on top,” said an intelligence official clearly well-versed with national policies. “A lot of pressure came on the two but they have persisted with what is good for Pakistan.” Another direction in which Pasha worked was the issue of US spies who were operating with impunity in the country. These spies, as Pasha’s actions show, will not be tolerated now and each Tom, Dick and Harry will not be granted Pakistani visas.
Analysts also believe that following the steps taken by General Pasha, operations of CIA clandestine fronts like Blackwater and DynCorps will not be allowed to continue in future. They said that the agency was now keeping a tab on all such organizations and checking their ingress and operations in Pakistan.
One retired official added he believes the agency, even after General Pasha was gone, would make sure that the Kashmir issue was not put on the backburner and Pakistan did not rest till a fair and impartial solution was found. “Pasha did not allow the core issue to sink into the sea of war on terror or pushed under the wheels of cross-border trade caravans,” he said. “It is to his credit that he kept it alive.”
In the context of current events, all officials and defence analysts, nevertheless, agree that under Pasha, Pakistan charted a new course on the war on terror. “I think the decisions taken by the duo (Kayani and Pasha) were difficult and their implementation even more difficult. With critical choices made by our political and military leaders, they worked to change the status quo in the region. The set of threats they saw was different from the skewed world view of Pentagon.
“Indeed, moving beyond the evaluation made by some harsh and personally motivated comments in the media, the best thing to come out of Pasha’s tenure is that Pakistan will now fight the war on terror in its own interests and own terms,” an analyst said. “Pasha is gone though his roadmap will continue to serve the ISI and Pakistan.”