The Role of ISI: A Necessity For National Interest
By Sajjad Shaukat
Intelligence organizations are not a fighting machines in its conventional sense but no army can fight without the support of an efficient Intelligence Organizations, collect, collate and disseminate information in a most efficient and reliable manner that is the key to the success of any war or battle. The job of a good organization is not only to collect information but through its mechanism, it denies or feeds false information to the enemy to achieve its goals.
Inter Services Intelligence agency known as ISI is a global name that has excelled and proven its professional competence in the most difficult of times. Even at this critical juncture, while Pakistan has been facing multiple subversive acts being conducted by the foreign enemies, ISI has never failed in its goals.
No doubt, every country has a superior intelligence agency to protect the national interest of the state. American CIA, Russian KJB, British MI-6 etc. might be cited as an instance. Just like other spy agencies, ISI keeps a vigilant eye on the borders, assesses the nefarious designs of the enemies and counters anti-Pakistan schemes.
Despite its limited resources, ISI has proved its mettle. It has outsmarted and defeated KGB in the last Afghan War where Soviet Union faced a collapse from within. Likewise, it has out maneuvered RAW, MOSSAD and CIA when desired. ISI is the most effective intelligence agency in safeguarding the national interests of Pakistan. It is owing to its excellent professional expertise that it’s a sore in the eyes of our enemies be it India, Israel or other agencies like MI6 and CIA in their support.
It is mentioned that India tried its best to establish that November 26, 2008, Mumbai tragedy was an ISI act carried out through Lashkar-i-Taiba and Jamaatud Dawa to conceal their own and that of MOSSAD and CIA but on every step they gave themselves out.
While a few days after the Mumbai carnage, the then Indian Minority Affairs Minister Abdul Rahman Antulay who changed his statement afterwards due to an unending pressure of Hindu fundamentalist parties, BJP, Shiv Sena and RSS, had stated in the Lok Sabha that the killing of Anti-Terrorism Squad Chief Hemant Karkare in Mumbai during terror attacks was a conspiracy—indicating, “he was shot due to his leading role in the investigation against Hindus regarding the 2006 Malegaon bombings”.
However, instead of showing any proof, Indian leadership and media had coined a number of fictitious stories about the arrested gunman, Ajmal Kasab to prove the involvement of Pakistan and the ISI which is the first defence line of our country in thwarting the conspiracy of external enemies.
Nevertheless, blame game against ISI is not confined to India, on December 15, 2008, US Senator John Kerry remarked that ISI must be brought under control. Before him, US Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Boucher had said that ISI needed to be reformed. Nevertheless, intermittently, US high officials and media have been accusing Pakistan’s army and our superior spy agency of cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan and the Indian-held Kashmir.
For example, in July and August, 2008, The New York Times claimed presumed ties between Pakistan’s ISI and the Taliban of Afghanistan, alleging this agency for the bombing of Indian embassy in Kabul. In that context, Indian National Security Advisor M.K Narayanan had pointed out; “The ISI needs to be destroyed.” These false accusations still keep ongoing in one or the other form.
Question arises as to why US-led India and some countries have been targeting our superior spy agency? We cannot see their vile propaganda against ISI in isolation as there are a number of nefarious designs which are part of the international plot against Pakistan which is the only Islamic country, possessing nuclear weapons. ISI is also being defamed because it not only counters the threat of foreign intelligence agencies against the integrity of Pakistan but also protects the nuclear weapons and atomic installations of our country. America, India and Israel are exaggerating that safety of the atomic weapons is doubtful as these can go in the hands of Al Qaeda operatives who are likely to use them inside the US and Europe. The purpose behind is to convince Washington to continue air strikes on Pakistan’s tribal areas, and to expand the same to the settled areas of FATA including Balochistan. Without any doubt, sporadic attacks by American drones are the worse example of cross-border terrorism.
Being essential for our national interest as the first pillar of our country, ISI has become target of the external intrigue. During its visit, The Veterans Today delegation was briefed by the ‘Counter Terrorism Cell’ that explained how efficiently the ISI was combating this menace that had become a plague. Keeping in view the resources of sorts, the achievements were phenomenal.
As a matter of fact, US, India, Afghanistan and Israel have intensified their collective covert strategic game by exploiting Pakistan’s present multiple crises which they have themselves created through their secret agencies. While acting upon anti-Pakistan conspiracy, they, sometimes, take new turns in their continued campaign in tarnishing the image of our Inter-Services Intelligence Agency. Rather, they have badly failed in crushing the stiff resistance of Afghan Taliban and Kashmiris who have been fighting against the occupying forces. In this respect, senseless accusations against ISI are essential for these countries to divert the attention of their publics from their frustrated misadventure in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Particularly, it has become fashion in India to blame ISI for every mishap to conceal RAW-backed Hindu terrorism. In the past, concrete evidence has surprised the international community about Hindu terrorism. On April 6, 2008 in the secret office of Bajrang Dal extremists in Nanded, a bomb exploded. The investigation proved that the militants of Bajrang Dal were engaged in bomb-making. In that context, Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested a serving Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit and other army officials, having close ties with prominent politicians of BJP, VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal. Inquiry revealed that these army officers helped train the Hindu terrorists, supplying them military-grade explosive RDX, used in the Malegaon bombings and various terrorist attacks in the Indian cities. ATS also indicated that Lt. Col. Purohit was involved in bombing of Samjhota express, which burnt alive 68 Pakistanis.
Before these proofs, Indian leaders were accusing Pakistan’s ISI in connection with the bombings of the Indian cities and Samjhota express.
Besides, under the cover of blame game against ISI, New Delhi also wants to distract the attention of the west from her own atrocities, being perpetrated on the innocent Kashmiris in the occupied Kashmir. Since 1989, Indian military troops have massacred more than 200000 innocent people through barbaric methods of ethnic cleansing. Notably, in the last two years, more than 3000 unmarked graves of the unidentified bodies of the Muslims were uncovered in the Indian-held Kashmir. Sources suggest that these graves include bodies of extrajudicial executions committed by the Indian military and RAW.
It is well-established fact that CIA-led RAW and Mossad have been creating unrest in our country on massive scale. Penetration of foreign agents along with sophisticated weaponry and explosives in various cities of Pakistan has become a routine matter, while suicide attacks and targeted killings have become every day occurrence. In this context, Afghanistan where India already set up terrorist training camps has also started building new cantonment areas. Besides, causing lawlessness in our country, another aim behind is also to get a strategic depth to encircle Pakistan with the tactical support of the US.
As regards Indo-Israeli nexus against Pakistan, during Mumbai devastation, attack on the Jewish Center (Nariman House) surprised the Indians as they never knew about it and clandestine presence of Israeli commandos there.
The misdeeds of anti-ISI agencies are known to every one. In that respect, Ramzi Yousaf who was well-aware of the activities of the American and Israeli secret agencies had stated in the US court in 1997, “You are butchers, liars, and hypocrites. You keep on talking about terrorism to the media, but behind closed doors you support terrorism”.
On August 8, 2007, Major Tanvir Hussain Syed (R), the former Parliamentary Secretary for Defence accused American CIA of killing Chinese nationals in Pakistan to harm the cordial relations between Islamabad and Beijing.
On a number of occasions, ISI has castigated various plots against our country. In this connection, in the Zia regime, New Delhi had made a secret plan to suddenly attack Pakistan through operation, Brasstac. And it also prepared a joint plan with the help of Israel to destroy Kahuta nuclear plant through a surgical strike. Nevertheless, all these external schemes were failed due to the pre-information of ISI. Some other deeds like thwarting subversive acts, capturing foreign spies, renowned terrorists, fake currency notes etc. inside Pakistan might also be cited as an example.
While, at present, our country is facing multi-faceted threats, no doubt, ISI is essential for our national interest.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for www.opinion-maker.org He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.