Dr Muhammad Khan
Whereas the armed forces of Pakistan act as a strong combat force to defeat and destroy the enemies of Pakistan in physical term, its premium intelligence agency, the Inter-services Intelligence Agency (ISI) act eyes and ears for the country. Ever since its establishment, this premium organisation has acted as the first line of defence. It provided information and early warnings about the global and regional happenings with particular emphasis on the issues concerning Pakistan. Moreover, ISI through its efficient organisation inform the leadership about the threats and methodology how to handle those emerging threats.
During last one and half decade, ISI has very successfully unearthed and destroyed the network of terrorism, which the enemies of Pakistan have established to destabilise and weaken the state and society of Pakistan. It has successfully unearthed the sponsors, supporters, financers and sympathisers of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation through our Pakistan. Indeed, this a continuous process and since last one year being done through Operation Rad-ul-Fassad.
Unfortunately, seeing this successful countering of enemies’ conspiracies, the adversaries of Pakistan have started defaming ISI. To mislead the international community and civilised world, today, a host of rival spying networks are operating against ISI. These spying networks issues narratives where ISI is blamed for all ills at regional and international level. Besides, they also make sure that, ISI is criticised at domestic level.
After having gone through a detailed analysis about the role of other spying networks, one learns that, the whole propaganda campaign against ISI and armed forces of Pakistan is being led by India through RAW. While the RAW leads this, NDS of Afghanistan and CIA of United States act as active supporters. For blames from inland, media provides a well levelled field to various activists, political party workers and sub nationalist voices. RAW collaborates with NDS to manage terrorism in Pakistan through Baloch Sub-Nationalists (BSNs) and also through misguided religious terrorist outfits like IS. Proofs of multiple attacks from Afghan soil were also shared with Afghan and US authorities present there.
Regionally and globally it is ISI which has to tackle all the hostile networks and their huge infrastructure. Merely the level and quantum of the threat scenario is huge enough to be dealt by a single agency and it requires miraculous performance to tackle and defeat such multi-pronged threats. However, the ISI does it for Pakistan single-handedly and that is the only reason that the institution is in the eye of storm, both abroad and inland.
Unlike the cruel spying networks like RAW, CIA, MI-6 and Mossad, ISI has maintained a clean conduct throughout its material life. This spotless intelligence network indeed, neither has established inhuman camps like Guantanamo bay nor colonised its neighbours or undertook massacre during WW-I, WW-II and hundreds of proxy wars thereafter. Moreover, it has not been created to destabilise its neighbours like the RAW or to unleash the terror like Mossad. Its efficiency and diligence, of course bothers the ill-conceived intelligence networks of the globe, the so-called scholars and think tanks of US and India who do not believe on the reality, but desire to maintain their hegemony at all cost then try to defame ISI for their vested interests.
On the issue of Afghanistan, Pakistan cannot wish for Afghanistan anything which it does not wish for itself. It only wants peace and stability in its brotherly Muslim country. US together with its South Asian partner (India) desire to sow the seed of hate between Pakistan and Afghan people. Since 2001, the US policies for Afghanistan have proved a total failure. It has misled the Afghans about Pakistan, about the armed forces of Pakistan and particularly about the ISI. As per a recent statement of DG ISPR, “Fighting war against terrorism was a difficult phase. Pakistan provided ISAF all logistic and intelligence support to overcome terrorism in Afghanistan.” But, unfortunately, US has disregarded all and has been accusing Pak Army and ISI. Indeed, Pakistan has done what it was to do, now it’s the turn of US and Afghanistan to play their part for peace and stability of Afghanistan.
Time has come, where United States and Afghanistan must stop putting the blame of their failure in Afghanistan on Pakistan and its institutions. Today, CIA, FBI and Homeland Security have the status of state(s) within state. They dictate the policies to US President and even Congress. They can do anything within US and abroad. Similarly RAW has the status of a state within state. Let’s not allow our adversaries to defame and blame ISI and our military institution for their failure.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.