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 Khanâ€™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 armyâ€™s obsession about the threat from India. The earliest known organisational format of ISI was structured in â€˜Joint Intelligenceâ€™ terms, along with Military Intelligence (MI), as shown below: http://idsa.in/system/files/jds_5_4_rbanerji.pdf An interesting article.