Pak ISI an Analytic Review

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Ray, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Pakistan: Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI)
    An Analytical Overview


    Rana Banerji

    Background & History
    Initial Years



    The ISI was set up in 1948, shortly after the first war with India, to strengthen sharing of intelligence between the army, navy and air force. It was headed first by Maj Gen R. Cawthorne, one of the last British officers to leave Pakistan. He continued at the helm of ISI till 1956. Thereafter, for almost three years, it remained headless as Pakistan faced constitutional turmoil leading finally to Ayub Khan’s first martial law take-over. Ayub appointed Brig Riaz Hussain as ISI chief and he continued up to 1966. He was replaced by Brigadier, later Maj Gen Mohd Akbar Khan, who continued as head of ISI till the calamitous break up of the country in1971.

    During this period, about 80 per cent of ISI personnel were on deputation from the three defence services along with a small cadre of civilian deputationists from the police. There are no accurate figures about its overall strength but present estimates assess that its total personnel strength ranges, between 7,000 and 10,000. Its organisation and existence was designed as an adjunct of the army. The location of its field offices was near the Field Intelligence Units (FIU) of the army in border areas, thus sharing the army’s obsession about the threat from India. The earliest known organisational format of ISI was structured in ‘Joint Intelligence’ terms, along with Military Intelligence (MI), as shown below:

    http://idsa.in/system/files/jds_5_4_rbanerji.pdf

    An interesting article.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    This is what is written about it


    Covert action is like a damn good drug. It works, but if you take too much of it, it will kill you’. CIA Director Richard Helms quoted in Bob Woodward’s Veil: The Secret Wars of CIA, 1981-1987.

    This is one of the most comprehensive articles written about ISI. It is an Indian perspective but not an amateur one. Respected author probably has access to database kept by Indian intelligence agencies about their rival intelligence agency of Pakistan. Author has used Mr. Shuja Nawaz’s encyclopedic work on Pakistan army and also used some of my own very limited work on Pakistan army. This is the reason that I was asked to give my two cent worth opinion about the piece. I have cited relevant sources and where no citation that is based on my own work. There are many organizational charts, however I’m unable to comment on the veracity of these as I don’t know the details.
    As a backgrounder for the uninitiated, it is norm that people generally look at things as black and white. Any work done by an Indian on Pakistan will be seen as mere another bashing exercise and vice versa. On the other hand the very nature of the intelligence set up, it is obvious that every work will have some limitations. Intelligence organizations are compartmentalized and even people who work at senior positions have access to only certain components. Intelligence outfits operate covertly and most of the work never sees the daylight. In addition, these organizations have become large bureaucracies and there is a whole spectrum of officers. Only the naughty ones caught with their hands in the cookie jars make headlines. There are many level headed professional officers who perform their assigned tasks. This is true for every organization including ISI.
    In every country, there are usually two extreme positions about intelligence organizations. Admirers consider them as the only line of defense against real and imaginary foes while critics charge them for being responsible for all the ills afflicting the national security. The truth is probably some where in the middle. In India, it is customary to blame everything on ISI while many Pakistanis see the hand of Indian intelligence RAW behind every thing afflicting the country. I think Henry Kissinger’s comments about behavior of Soviet Union and United States during the Cold War quoted in Beschloss’s May Day equally applies to India and Pakistan. He summed it up as, “like two heavily armed men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision. Each tends to ascribe to the other a consistency, foresight and coherence that its own experience belies”.
    I have taken the liberty to be frank. My comments are in bold and red in the main text. Any additional information, correction, critique is welcome for my own education.

    Pakistan: Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI)
    An Analytical Overview
    R. Banerji, Special Secretary (rtd.), Cabinet Secretariat
    Background & history
    Initial years
    The ISI was set up in 1948,shortly after the first war with India,t to strengthen sharing of intelligence between the Army, Navy and Air Force. It was headed first by Maj Gen R. Cawthorne, one of the last British officers to leave Pakistan. He continued at the helm of ISI till 1956. (Walter Joseph Cawthorne was not British but Australian and was nick named Bill. A little information about Bill Cawthorne is essential to understand his role in Pakistan. He started his career as Sergeant Major in Australian Imperial Army during First World War and later transferred to Indian army – 16 Punjab Regiment. During Second World War he headed Middle East Intelligence Center in Cairo and then came back to India as Director Intelligence at army Headquarters. After partition, he was Deputy Chief of Staff of Pakistan army from 1948 to 1951 and this capacity organized infrastructure of ISI. ISI was not formally organized in its present structure and he simply oversaw the functions when the organization was being built up and technically was not head of the organization. Shahid Hamid (later Major General) was one of the pioneers of ISI during that time. Bill left Pakistan in 1951 when ISI was still in infancy. From 1952 to 1954 he was joint Director of Intelligence Bureau of Australian defense ministry. He came to Pakistan in 1954 as Australia’s High commissioner to Pakistan and had good personal rapport with Sikandar Mirza (former Defence Secretary) and all senior Pakistani army officers especially General Ayub Khan. Bill was the only person allowed to see Sikandar Mirza before later was exiled to London by Ayub Khan. This was to make sure that Mirza was not ‘bumped off’. Bill left Pakistan in 1959. This summary should clarify Bill’s role in ISI which was very limited and pertains to very early years. In early 1960s, Bill was instrumental in setting up South Asia intelligence set up for Australian intelligence based in Jakarta. This was later taken over by CIA.) Thereafter, for almost three years, it remained headless as Pakistan faced constitutional turmoil leading finally to Ayub Khan’s first Martial Law take-over. Ayub appointed Brig Riaz Hussain as ISI chief and he continued up to 1966. He was replaced by Brig, later Maj Gen Mohd Akbar Khan, who continued as Head of ISI till the calamitous break up of the country in1971.
    During this period, the ISI comprised about 80 % personnel drawn on deputation from the three Defence services- Army, Navy & Air Force as well as a small cadre of civilian deputationists from the Police. Accurate estimates were not revealed about its overall size but present estimates assess its total personnel to range, in total, between 7,000 and 10,000. Its organization and existence was shaped from the very outset in close proximity with, and even as an adjunct of the Army. Location of its Field Offices was formulated near the Field Intelligence Units (FIU) of the Army in border areas, sharing the Army's obsession about the threat from India. Thus, the earliest known organizational format of ISI was structured in 'Joint Intelligence' terms, along with Military Intelligence (MI), as shown below:

    The ISI Headquarters was referred to as JIX, whereas field deployments could be in JIN (North- commonly known to Kashmiri and other militants operating against India – Ironically enough, `Jin” – in local Urdu parlance denotes equivalent of `demon’ or ` genie’, which ISI/Army leadership has been reluctant to, or finds it difficult today, to put back in the bottle). There were also other sections designated-JIM (Middle East/ Muslim countries, JCIB (Joint Counter Intelligence Bureau) and JIB (Joint Int – Technical-which included also the technical and signals intelligence wings). These have now been modernized and several specialized wings or units have been added.

    This close identification of ISI with MI also perhaps saw the genesis of a personnel location policy or convention followed even now, wherein officers serving in MI or as the chief of military intelligence at a lower rank (Major General) were later invested higher responsibility ( in rank of Lieutenant General) in ISI.(Hamid Gul, Asad Durrani,Ehsan ul Haq ). (This phenomenon only started in late 1980s. For details see comments in relevant section of MI-ISI segment.)

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1549&d=1325967652
     
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  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  6. rohanvij

    rohanvij Regular Member

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    A true account of the activities of ISI and its role in spreading terrorism across the globe. This book will tell you on how terrorism shifted from West Asia to South and Southeast Asia and Africa, it will reveal that the so called Islamic Terrorism is traceable to Pakistan from concept to reality.

    "Inside ISI: The Story and Involvement of the ISI in Afghan Jihad, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, 26/11 and the Future of Al-Qaeda" by S K Datta, EX Cbi Chief. The book is available at Amazon India and Flipkart in Print and eBook format. A must read for everyone.
     

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