ISI- History, Founders and Discussions


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
Pakistan's Intelligence Agency, the ISI,

ISI, remains a major player in domestic politics. Using all the means available to a security police force – spying, surveillance, blackmail, interrogation, torture and even assassination – it is the ‘shadow state’ that stands behind Pakistani raison d’état. The ISI manages and sometimes shapes Pakistani governance as a watchdog for the interests of the powerful armed forces. When the military rules the country directly (as it has for more than half of Pakistan’s history) the ISI plays a role in keeping track of, and destabilizing if necessary, civilian opposition.
The ISI is very much a colonial inheritance. It is the 1948 brainchild of an Australian-born British army officer, Major-General R Cawthorne, who ended up as Deputy Chief of Staff of the newly minted Pakistani army. Originally the agency was seen as an orthodox intelligence-gathering institution, focusing on perceived external threats (India, in other words).
So originally Cawthorne was there to ensure that ISI focussed its energies on India rather than fritter it's efforts elsewhere. The idea was to ensure perpetuation of western interests through their man on the ground.

"Opted for Pakistan after transfer of power" .. how clever & impartial it sounds.

Cawthorne is an old India hand.

The point to understand is till Cawthorne organized the ISI on MI5/MI6 lines the old IB which got bifurcated was just a CID outfit run by police wallas. There was never a military intelligence organization in the British India. So it was a qaulitative escalation by colonials.

So the fight was between an Mi5/MI6 sortof military organization and first IB and then RAW which at best was based on CIA inputs but both were civilan outfits. By any chance was Cawthorne part of SIS/Force 136 in British India?

Under the dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s the ISI really flowered as a kind of ‘state within a state’.
Today the ISI is reputed to have a staff of 10,000, which includes 2,500 core officers. The Pakistani military has always been comfortable with the ISI’s military-style command structure, and latterly its adherence to rigid Islamic doctrine. This has been crucial in protecting ‘turf’ the military regards as no-go areas for civilian governments: a large military budget; the secret nuclear state and all that surrounds it; and support for anti-Indian agitation in Kashmir.


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
Secret Agencies

ISI was a brain- child of British Army General R Cawthorne, who opted for Pakistan after the transfer of power and served as a Deputy Chief of Staff. Senior army officers felt that the Kashmir war was mismanaged by role of some political leaders, and PIB (Pakistan Intelligence Bureau) failed to fully coordinate and support the war efforts as required by the army. Pakistan army brains of General Rees and General Cawthorne conceived an idea of having an agency which can play a pivotal role to meet military requirements agency which can coordinate, plan and carry out tasks with full control of the army in accordance with military requirements, hence ISI was set up in 1948, and its structural format was drawn from MI5 and MI6, elite British intelligence agencies set up in 1909.


Regular Member
Aug 11, 2009
After independence in 1947, two new intelligence agencies were created in Pakistan: the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Military Intelligence (MI). However, the weak performance of the MI in sharing intelligence between the Army, Navy and Air Force during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 led to the creation of the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1948.[1] The ISI was structured to be manned by officers from the three main military services, and to specialize in the collection, analysis and assessment of external intelligence, either military or non-military.[1] The ISI was the brainchild of Australian-born British Army officer, Major General R. Cawthome, then Deputy Chief of Staff in the Pakistan Army.[1][2] Initially, the ISI had no role in the collection of internal intelligence, with the exception of the North-West Frontier Province and Azad Kashmir.[1]
In the late 1950s, when Ayub Khan became the President of Pakistan, he expanded the role of ISI in monitoring opposition politicians, and sustaining military rule in Pakistan.[2] The ISI was reorganised in 1966 after intelligence failures in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965[3], and expanded in 1969. Khan entrusted the ISI with the responsibility for the collection of internal political intelligence in East Pakistan. Later on, during the Baloch nationalist revolt in Balochistan in the mid-1970s, the ISI was tasked with performing a similar intelligence gathering operation.[3]
The ISI lost its importance during the regime of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was very critical of its role during the 1970 general elections, which triggered off the events leading to the partition of Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh.[3]
After General Zia ul-Haq seized power in July 1977, the ISI was expanded by making it responsible for the collection of intelligence about the Sindh-based Pakistan Communist Party and various political parties such as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).[3]
The Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s saw the enhancement of the covert action capabilities of the ISI by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). A special Afghan Section was created under the command of colonel Mohammed Yousaf to oversee the coordination of the war. A number of officers from the ISI's Covert Action Division received training in the US and many covert action experts of the CIA were attached to the ISI to guide it in its operations against the Soviet troops by using the Afghan Mujahideen.


Regular Member
Aug 11, 2009
Brig Riaz Hussain.[6] 1959 - 1966
Maj Gen (then Brig) Mohammad Akbar Khan.[7] 1966 - 1971
Lt Gen (then Maj Gen) Ghulam Jilani Khan. 1971 - 1978
Lt Gen Muhammad Riaz. 1978 - 1980
Lt Gen Akhtar Abdur Rahman. 1980 - March 1987
Lt Gen Hamid Gul. March 1987 - May 1989
Lt Gen (retd) Shamsur Rahman Kallu. May 1989 - August 1990
Lt Gen Asad Durrani. August 1990 - March 1992
Lt Gen Javed Nasir. March 1992 - May 1993
Lt Gen Javed Ashraf Qazi. May 1993 - 1995
Lt Gen (then Maj Gen) Nasim Rana. 1995 - October 1998
Lt Gen Ziauddin Butt . October 1998 - October 1999
Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmed. October 1999 - October 2001
Lt Gen Ehsan ul Haq. October 2001 - October 2004
Lt Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. October 2004 - October 2007
Lt Gen Nadeem Taj. October 2007 - October 2008
Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha. October 2008 - Present


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
UKDF Defence Viewpoints

Up-to-the-minute opinions and perspectives on defence and security issues from policy makers and opinion formers.
Welcome to the UK Defence Forum Defence Viewpoints blogsite. It features original contributions and reviews, sometimes of a slightly partisan nature. It is also highlights interesting defence and security information and opinion from across the political spectrum – from newspaper articles to reports by thinktanks and academics, reproduced with permission. Visitors are invited to add their own comments on individual items.

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The History of the ISI

The Directorate for Inter-Service Intelligence [ISI] was formed in 1948 by the British Army Officer Major General William Cawthorne,(Note 1) then serving as the new state of Pakistan’s Army Deputy Chief of Staff. The ISI was established within the Pakistan Army to supplement the existing Military Intelligence [MI] as a means to address the lack of inter-service intelligence co-operation that had proven so disastrous for Pakistan in the 1947 Indo-Pak war. Trained from its early days by U.K.’s Military Intelligence, and a little later by the CIA and the French SDECE, the ISI originally had no role beyond that of military intelligence gathering except in relation to the disputed region in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and the
Northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan.

The assumption of martial law in Pakistan for this first time in 1958 under Lt. Gen.
Ayub Khan brought the ISI into the political realm. It was tasked by Ayub with three roles, which continue to define it: (a) to safeguard Pakistan’s interests, (b) to monitor political opposition, and (c) to sustain military rule in Pakistan. It is clear from these functions that the ISI from 1958, if not before, viewed its raison d’etre first and foremost in terms of the Pakistan military rather than in relation to any broader concept of the defence and security of the nation-state or the people of Pakistan. Moreover, Ayub Khan’s formulation gave the ISI primacy among the other intelligence agencies in Pakistan—the MI and the civilian Intelligence Bureau [IB]— because it combined in the one agency the twin roles of internal and external intelligence. Unlike the U.K.’s MI5 and MI6 or the U.S.’s FBI and CIA, the ISI faces no equivalent turf-war with a powerful internal rival, and is thus able to integrate the internal and external facets of its work with profound implications for the way it operates and the power it is able to exercise within Pakistan and outside it.

Internally this remit meant opposition to political organizations and parties that
threatened the power of the military or pro-military elites within Pakistan. The activities of the ISI in this respect routinely included phone-tapping and surveillance, the harassment of political opponents and those working to build civil society (student movements, trades unions, etc.), blackmail of individuals and the exposure of corruption, the fomentation of civil violence, political assassination, and the creation and support of political opposition, often of violent hue. The ISI quickly became adept at exploiting the multiple lines of tensions within Pakistani society of religious, ethnic, and political character.

A key element of this was the ISI’s activities in the politics of East Pakistan in which the ISI struggled against rising Bengali Muslim nationalism using political gerrymandering, the surveillance and intimidation of political opponents, and political assassinations.

Externally the ISI used similar approaches to seek to destabilize India, in particular supporting religious and political secession movements that threatened the integrity of India’s secular vision of the state, most particularly support for Islamic militants in thePunjab and Indian-Administered Kashmir and the Sikh Home Rule/Khalistan movement of the 1960s.

Ayub so unbalanced the focus of the ISI’s work toward these kinds of political
operations—within and outside Pakistan—that Pakistan’s military intelligence proved a disaster during the 1965 war with India, which Pakistan rapidly lost. Subsequently Pakistan began the restructuring and expansion of the ISI to redress the dearth of competence in the military intelligence field. However, the overwhelming importance of the issues of East Pakistan, Jammu, and Kashmir, and the destabilization of India siphoned off most of the enlarged ISI with the result that military intelligence was little better in Pakistan’s defeat by India in 1971, which enabled the realization of Bengali nationalist aspirations in the creation of Bangladesh.

An important point for present purposes is to understand the degree to which the loss of East Pakistan was a national trauma for Pakistan, the more so because it was India that delivered the secession blow. The breakup of Pakistan burned into the psyche of the Pakistan military and the ISI the overarching importance of safeguarding, at almost any cost, the territorial integrity of what remained of Pakistan. It is this that has since shaped the ferocity of the Pakistan military and intelligence community’s response to separatism in Pakistan, whether in Balochistan, in Jammu and Kashmir, in Sindh, or among those dreaming of uniting the Pashtun communities across the Durrand line dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The defeat of Pakistan in the 1971 war discredited the military after 16 years in
power and brought to power the civilian government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto whose Pakistan People’s Party [PPP] had dominated the 1970 elections in the Western half of Pakistan. Having been on the receiving end of ISI pressure for many years8 Bhutto sought to bring the ISI under his control, although he was more interested in the ISI becoming a personal tool for his political ambitions than in making the ISI subordinate to civilian rule in lasting constitutional terms. He thus deployed the ISI against Balochi nationalists during the uprising of 1972, legalized through parliament the ISI’s role in domestic surveillance, created the Federal Security Force9 to check and balance the ISI, and in 1974 appointed Lt. Gen. Gulam Jilani Khan (who had been Pakistan’s first military attache to Washington) as Director General of the ISI, assuming him to be a loyal officer capable of delivering Bhutto’s agenda within the ISI.

Following India’s nuclear weapons test on 18 May 1974, Bhutto directed the ISI to support Pakistan’s effort to develop nuclear weapons, tasking a section within the
ISI with the “clandestine procurement” of nuclear and missile technology. This program was funded from the mid-1970s in part by both Saudi Arabia and Libya (who expected to gain access to nuclear technology, and possibly to security guarantees in relation to Israel, if Pakistan succeeded) as well as by monies diverted from drug and arms smuggling by the ISI from Afghanistan.

It is widely accepted that the Bank of Credit and Commerce International [BCCI]served as an ISI front and clearing house for much of the Saudi money, enabling Bhutto and his successors to hide this element of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program from what limited oversight Pakistan’s political institutions were able to exercise.

In the event Bhutto’s trusted appointee Jilani Khan paved the way for General Zia
ul-Haq first to be appointed Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) in March 1976 and
subsequently to topple Bhutto by military coup on 5 July 1977 following political unrest—in which the ISI had a hand—and the erosion of Pakistan’s civil institutions by Bhutto.

Under Zia the ISI began to rise again, in particular becoming a key tool for Zia’s fierce imposition of martial law. Moreover, Zia’s Islamization of Pakistani society and politics facilitated the movement of many members of Pakistan’s Islamist political parties—such as Jamaat-I-Islami—into the military and ISI15 and inculcated within the military and ISI a growing Islamism16 that was to underwrite the forging of strong bonds between the ISI and various extremist/terrorist groups in the decades ahead.


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
Biography of Maj Gen Cawthorne

looks like he headed the Secret services of two countries- Pakistan and Australia!

CAWTHORN, Sir WALTER JOSEPH (1896-1970), soldier, diplomat and intelligence chief, was born on 11 June 1896 at Prahran, Melbourne, second child of William Cawthorn, a commercial traveller from England who later entered publishing, and his Victorian-born wife Fanny Adelaide, née Williams. Educated at Melbourne High School, Walter became a schoolteacher, as did his sister Minnie. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 3 February 1915 and was posted to the 22nd Battalion. Arriving at Gallipoli in September, he was promoted regimental sergeant major that month and commissioned on 9 November. During his time on the peninsula he kept a diary in which he recorded his experiences.

Moved to Egypt in January 1916, the battalion was transferred to France in March. Near Armentières, Cawthorn suffered a severe shrapnel wound to the abdomen on 27 June and was evacuated to England. He returned to the Western Front in November. Sent to England for training duties in April 1917, he was promoted captain in May. Having rejoined his unit in August, he again went to England where his A.I.F. appointment terminated when he was commissioned in the Indian Army on 13 February 1918. In the 1920s he served in India with the 16th Punjab Regiment. At Marylebone Presbyterian Church, London, on 10 March 1927 he married a widow Mary Wyman Varley, daughter of Andrew Gillison; their only son Michael was to be killed (1951) in the Korean War. Walter saw active service on the North-West Frontier (1930-35) and was later a general staff officer, grade 2, at the War Office, London.

Holding the local rank of colonel, in 1939 'Bill' Cawthorn (as he was familiarly known) took charge of the Middle East Intelligence Centre in Cairo. In 1941 he became director of military intelligence at General Headquarters, India, and was later an acting (temporary) major general. From October he held the additional post of deputy-director of intelligence, South East Asia Command. Mary also performed intelligence duties in World War II and served as an officer in the Women's Army Corps, India, for four years. In 1945 her husband was a member of the Indian delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held at San Francisco, United States of America. He was appointed C.B.E. (1941), C.I.E. (1943) and C.B. (1946).

Recommended by his friend R. G. (Baron) Casey, the governor of Bengal, Cawthorn was sent to Melbourne in 1946 as Indian representative on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Australia. From 1948 to 1951 he was deputy chief of staff of the army of newly-independent Pakistan, and forged strong links with local political and military leaders. In 1952 he was appointed director of the Joint Intelligence Bureau, a liaison section in the Department of Defence, Melbourne. Seeking 'a better outlet for Cawthorn's talents', Casey—now minister for external affairs—selected him for a five-year posting (1954-59) as Australian high commissioner to Pakistan. During Cawthorn's term the two countries were to enjoy close ties. Casey visited Karachi in 1956 and noted that, as a result of Cawthorn's rapport with 'top Pakistanis', 'we are much better informed than the much larger diplomatic posts'. Governor-General Iskander Mirza told Casey: 'We have no secrets from Bill Cawthorn'.

Knighted in 1958, Cawthorn was appointed high commissioner to Canada next year. His stay, however, was short. In September 1960 he was back in Melbourne as head of the Australian Secret (Intelligence) Service, after being nominated by Casey for the post. With the Cold War intensifying, the job was a demanding one and he relied heavily on his able and experienced deputy W. T. Robertson. Cawthorn took a particular interest in Indonesian affairs and expanded the Jakarta office to be A.S.I.S.'s biggest station. It has been suggested that the organization played a significant role with the U.S.A.'s Central Intelligence Agency in creating an atmosphere for the overthrow (1966) of President Sukarno. A.S.I.S. also provided instruction in clandestine operations for members of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam.

Sir Walter retired in July 1968. He lived at Little Tocknells, at Kallista in the Dandenong Ranges. Tall and dignified, with dark hair and a military moustache, he was a quiet, unassuming man whose demeanour endeared him to many. These attributes, coupled with his discretion and ability, had enabled him to progress from private to major general, and had earned him acceptance in the highest circles. In early 1970 he was admitted to hospital following a savage attack by an unknown assailant near the Melbourne Club; survived by his wife, Cawthorn died on 4 December that year in Melbourne and was cremated.
Select Bibliography

C. E. W. Bean, The A.I.F. in France1916 (Syd, 1929); C. E. W. Bean, The Story of Anzac, vol 2 (Syd, 1940); B. Toohey and W. Pinwill, Oyster (Melb, 1989); Age (Melbourne), 7 Dec 1970; Sydney Morning Herald, 27 Jan 1983; Australian War Memorial records; private information. More on the resources

Author: Peter Hohnen
Baron Casey later became the GG of Australia!

The whole idea was to create a org which would target India right when India got its independence. ISI was upgraded as and when India population grew and complexity increased. They may have got information about India - sociology, mil and economy to thrawt India's rise as a major power. China and US gained immensely with this brilliant strategy started at independence.
LeT was the joint creation of ISI in 1986 and brilliantly executed with Indian public unaware until late 90s.

Cawthorne was of australian origin and Australia has the deepest links to ISI. After 911 US mil ops and intelligence depended on the Australian help to keep a tab on ISI during the Afghan operation. There were reports of Paki LeT targetting Australia in 2002-2004.


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
So they are using ISI as a tool to control both Pakistan & India through subversion.

how convenient .. while we keep playing into western hands.

So, actively promoting secessionist movements in Pak while fortifying our defenses and enhancing our retaliatory and propaganda capabilities would be essential as this will lead the ISI to over-react and commit atrocities which we can then highlight, putting ISI's anglo-american sponsors on the defensive.

Tighter coupling of Indian assets in the field with the Americans would also help, as it would lead to shared exposure to ISI attacks.

Domestically, manage the defense against ISI so that it becomes a high visibility political item, We need to create a climate in which Indian Muslims(IMs) will have a very strong incentive to turn in the ISI-ers in their midst by not allowing events like post-godhra riots to occur but at the same time demanding that the IMs decide and once and for all between India and ISI.


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
Cawthorne also headed the Pakistani side in the post ceasefire negotiations Karachi to demarcrate the CFL (as LOC was known in those days) in Kashmir in 1948.

Per Gen Sinha his behavior was very hostile towards India. Kishenganga (Neelum valley) went to Pakistan due to his machinations.

Cawthorne seems to have started as a private and ended up as a Maj Gen. Lots of ability. And he fought from First World War to Cold War! And was head of secret services of two countries- Pakistan and Aussies. And see his service in NWFP and Punjab Regt for his affinity towards Pakistan. He might have a hand in Sukarno's overthrow and the massacres in the aftermath. There was a Hollywood movie on that overthrow.

The google book I mentioned showed his dislike for Indian freedom movement.


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
It is interesting to note that the English and other commonwealth (read white) officers continued to serve in both Indian and pakistani armies long after 1947.

The first War in 1948 was facilitated by the british officers so that kashmir state would join Pakistan. They exchanged information on both sides of the army so that the advantage was with Pakistan. Nehru's order were not carried out immediately so that raiders from pakistan and army could kill the kashmiri valley people into submission. Idea was to get the people to support pakistan making the ruler to sign with Pakistan. They made sure that Muslim conference took over the POK region and made sure that Nehru halted Indian army advance to the present LOC.

Ajay Shukla blogspot

And, most interestingly, the British generals in Pakistan were far more sympathetic towards the invasion than was earlier known. The British commander-in-chief in Pakistan, General Sir Frank Messervy favoured sending a Pakistani regular battalion into Srinagar in plainclothes, to capture the airfield and keep out Indian reinforcements; in December 1947 Messervy allocated a million bullets and Pakistani officer volunteers to the “tribal” invasion. Lt Gen Sir Douglas Gracey, who eventually succeeded Messervy, went even further in his support to the invasion of Kashmir.
I wonder what role Gen Rob Lockhart had to play in this charade (He was C-in-C Indian army). and why is the Indian army silent on this....


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
PDF Document

Pakistan’s ISI: The Invisible Government
Since partition, no political force within Pakistan has driven the nation’s
domestic and international political agenda as has its army, and more
specifically, one of its intelligence units, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
agency. Comprised of the three branches of Pakistan’s military, the Army,
Navy, and Air Force, the ISI, in its time has been linked to political
assassinations, the smuggling of heroin and opium, and the smuggling of
materials and components for nuclear weapons. From headquarters on
Khayban-e Suharwady Street in Islamabad, the ISI has worked to suppress
political opposition to the military regimes that have dotted Pakistan’s
political landscape since 1947.
It has also embraced radical Islamic extremism and worked with the
United States in aiding the Afghan mujahideen in expelling the Soviets
from Afghanistan. At the same time, it has been charged with using
Islamic militants in a campaign of terror to wrench control of the
provinces of Jammu and Kashmir from the Indians. Now, in light of the
events of 11 September 2001, ISI’s exploits over the course of the last fifty
years have entered into the Western Hemisphere’s mainstream press as the
United States is compelled to work with the organization in pursuing its
war on terror.1
In 1948, following Pakistan’s loss of the first Indo-Pakistani War, and the
abysmal intelligence performance of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the
Intelligence Bureau, the then–Deputy Army Chief of Staff General
R. Cawthorne2 formed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.3
Sean P. Winchell teaches in the Grandview, Missouri, School District. He
earned honors degrees in Political Science and History at the State
University of New York, Stony Brook.
International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 16: 374–388, 2003
Copyright # 2003 Taylor & Francis Inc.
ISSN: 0885-0607 print/1521-0561 online
DOI: 10.1080/08850600390201477
Created from the three branches of Pakistan’s military, and modeled after
Iran’s intelligence service, the SAVAK, the ISI coordinates with the Army,
Navy, and Air Force intelligence units of Pakistan’s military in the
collection, analysis, and dissemination of military and nonmilitary
intelligence, focusing mainly on India. After receiving its training from the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the French intelligence service, the
SDECE4, the ISI originally had no active role in conducting domestic
intelligence collection activities, except in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
(POK) and Pakistan’s Northern Areas (NA) of Gilgit and Baltistan. The
ISI’s role in Pakistani politics changed in 1958, when then–Army Chief of
Staff General Ayub Khan seized power in a coup, adding a new political
dimension to the ISI’s responsibilities.5
Prior to the 1958 coup and the implementation of martial law, the ISI,
which is part of Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense, reported directly to the
Army Chief of Staff. After the implementation of martial law, the ISI
began to report to then-President Ayub Khan and the martial law
administrator. In addition, under General Khan, the ISI became
responsible for monitoring Pakistani politicians, especially those in what
was then Eastern Pakistan. Khan expanded the ISI’s role to the
protection of Pakistan’s interests, which included the creation of a
covert action division within the ISI to assist Islamic militants in
Northeast India, as well as to assist the Sikh Home Rule Movement
in the 1960s.6
Under General Khan, the ISI was given the mission of conducting ‘‘the
collection of foreign and domestic intelligence, coordination of intelligence
functions of the three military services; surveillance over its cadre,
foreigners, the media, politically active segments of Pakistani society,
diplomats serving outside of the country; the interception and monitoring
of communications; and the conduct of covert operations.’’7
Through the 1960s, the ISI and other Pakistani intelligence services were
largely concerned with conducting domestic counterintelligence operations.
At the behest of Ayub Kahn, the ISI warned social organizations with
potential political influence, such as student groups, trade organizations,
and unions not to become involved in the political arena, and kept these
groups under tight surveillance. In addition, the ISI instructed Islamic
clerics to leave any political rhetoric out of their exhortations.8
General Khan further expanded the ISI’s powers when he began to suspect
the loyalty of Bengali officers in the Intelligence Bureau’s Dakha Branch in
East Pakistan. Khan ordered the ISI to conduct domestic intelligence
operations in the region, and to monitor East Pakistani politicians.9
During the 1964 presidential elections the ISI became particularly active.
The ISI monitored candidates running for office, especially in what was
then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), keeping Bengali politicians in
Dakha, Pakistan’s legislative capital,10 under close surveillance. The ISI
attempted to keep Khan apprised of the political mood in East Pakistan,
which the ISI believed had swung in favor of President Khan. But the ISI
had miscalculated the popularity of Khan’s opponent, Fatima Jinnah.11
The following year, the ISI’s intelligence collection and analysis during the
Indo-Pakistani War, which took place over Kashmir, was a fiasco. The ISI,
under Director-General Brigadier Riaz Hussain,12 was then vigorously
conducting domestic intelligence collection operations inside Kashmir, and
had numerous assets inside the Indian-controlled sector. Once the conflict
started, all its assets in the region went underground, blinding the ISI to
what was occurring, both militarily and politically. This included losing
track of a division of Indian tanks. Part of the problem that faced the ISI
was that prior to the conflict, it had devoted itself to domestic intelligence
operations, including keeping track of the regime’s various political
opponents. The ISI had also been conducting intelligence operations
against India. As a result, the ISI was at a complete loss in addressing the
army’s (and the government’s) needs for timely military intelligence.
Through the late 1960s and into the 1970s, the ISI worked in tandem with
the CIA, under the Richard Nixon administration, to provide aid and
support to the Khalistan movement in Punjab.13 In addition, the CIA and
the ISI collaborated to discredit then–Indian Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi’s granting of naval facilities to the Soviet Union at Vizag and on
the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The program came to an end with
Gandhi’s death in 1984.14
Under President Yahya Khan, the ISI once again escalated its domestic
intelligence collection activities, especially in East Pakistan. It sought to
guarantee that no East Pakistani candidate would win the presidential
election. But, the operation was a complete failure. Throughout the
1960s, the Awami League, led by Bengali leader Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman, gained in popularity. In 1970, the Awami League won an
overwhelming majority of seats to the National Assembly in the general
election and, under Parliamentary law, had the right to form a
government with Rahman as the newly elected Prime Minister. President
Khan, who did not want to grant East Pakistan greater political
autonomy, then delayed the commencement of the National Assembly,
which in turn provoked a civil war.15
For the next two years, as East and West Pakistan fought a bloody civil
war, the ISI attempted to crush the Bengali resistance movement in East
Pakistan. The ISI’s efforts included the assassination of several prominent
Bengali politicians. The conflict was finally brought to an end in late 1971
when the Indian military interceded on behalf of the East Pakistani
government, leading to the defeat of Pakistan proper on 16 December
1971, and the formation of Bangladesh, or the Bengali state.16
Following Pakistan’s defeat and the independence of Bangladesh, Yahya
Khan was forced to step down and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was elected
President of Pakistan.
President Bhutto tried to bring the ISI under control by appointing
Lieutenant General Gulam Gilani Khan as its director. At Khan’s behest,
Bhutto promoted Lieutenant General Zia ul-Haq to the position of Army
Chief of Staff.
Despite being in a democracy, the ISI had become so entrenched in
Pakistani society by the time that President Bhutto came to power that it
was readily adopted by his regime. In 1972, Bhutto, faced with a revolt by
Baluchistani nationals in Baluchistan, and suspecting the loyalty of officers
in the Quetta branch of the Intelligence Bureau, once again increased the
ISI’s mandate, making it responsible for conducting intelligence operations
in the region.17
In March 1977, Pakistan held its first general elections, with Bhutto’s
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) winning a substantial victory. His opponents
decried the election results as fraudulent. These accusations led to violent
protests and strikes. On 5 July 1977, General Zia ul-Haq, with the aid of
the ISI, seized power in a coup. Zia then ordered Bhutto’s arrest and had
him tried for the 1974 murder of a political opponent. Convicted of the
murder, Bhutto, on 4 April 1979, amid worldwide protests, was executed.
On 17 September 1978, amidst the negative fanfare, Zia declared himself
President and ruled under martial law until 30 December 1985, when he
restored some of the Pakistani people’s civil rights.
The son of an Islamic cleric, Zia was a fundamentalist who believed that the
only way Pakistan could become a major regional power was to turn it into
an Islamic state. Consequently, he made a deliberate attempt to Islamize the
Pakistani military. During this period, officers were actively encouraged to
become Islamic fundamentalists, and only those officers who were
practicing Muslims received promotion. Experts now believe that
approximately thirty percent of the country’s army officers are Islamic
The ISI’s powers were expanded to collect domestic intelligence on
political and religious organizations that were opposed to Zia’s regime. In
addition, the ISI began to smuggle arms and aid to Sikh extremists in the
Indian province of Punjab.19
In 1974, India conducted its first nuclear test, Pokharan I. In tandem with
Pakistan’s third defeat at the hands of India, the Bhutto government had
established a division within the ISI to conduct the ‘‘clandestine
procurement’’ of nuclear materials and missile technology from China and
North Korea. In order to hide the establishment of the nuclear weapons
program, the division received funding from both Saudi Arabia and Libya.
In addition, proceeds from heroin and opium smuggling were deferred to
the program. Finally, the ISI also began smuggling nuclear technology out
of Europe, all of which the United States knew, but did nothing about.20
The Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan compelled the CIA to
increase its ties with the ISI. The Agency had previously been working
with the ISI to discredit Indira Gandhi and to aid the Sikh Home Rule
Movement. Now, the CIA began collaborating with the ISI in training the
Afghan mujahideen to combat the Soviets, also providing them with
logistical support and financial and military aid.21
CIA intelligence officers were sent to Pakistan to liaise with the ISI, and
members of the ISI’s covert action division received training in the United
States. The CIA, through the ISI, ultimately channeled some three billion
dollars worth of arms to the Afghan mujahideen.22
But the CIA did not know at the time that the ISI was not using all of the
arms or money as Washington had intended. The ISI was appropriating arms
destined for the mujahideen and selling them to the Iranians and pocketing
the proceeds. When the Ronald Reagan administration learned of the ISI’s
activities, it sent a fact-finding mission to Pakistan to investigate. But by
then the ISI had already altered its records of the transactions and
destroyed any evidence that might show its complicity. The ISI was also
using the CIA-provided funds to enroll graduates from Pakistani
madrasas23 to fight in the war against the Soviets, and in the process
laying the ground for the rise of the Taliban.24
Between 1983 and 1997, the ISI trained approximately 83,000 Afghan
mujahideen. For its efforts Pakistan paid a price, as Soviet forces located
inside Afghanistan began bombing Pakistani cities located along the
Afghanistan–Pakistan border.25
In addition to supporting Afghan mujahideen fighters, the ISI began to
assist Kashmiri separatists in their efforts to make Kashmir part of
Pakistan. In 1988, as part of that support, then–President Zia created
Operation Tupac.26 The idea behind the project was to avenge Pakistan’s
defeat in the 1971 war with India and, in the process, attempt to balkanize
it. Operation Tupac had three operational objectives: (1) the disintegration
of India; (2) the utilization of spy networks to conduct acts of sabotage;
and (3) the ISI was to ‘‘exploit porous borders with Nepal and Bangladesh
to establish bases and conduct operations’’ [inside India].27
In addition, the CIA gave a wink and a nod to the production of opium
and heroin in northern Afghanistan under the ISI’s auspices. The growth
and sale of the substances is important for three reasons: (1) The drugs
and their subsequent use by many of the Soviet forces stationed in
Afghanistan turned many of the Soviets stationed there into drug addicts,
diminishing both their will and their ability to fight; (2) the proceeds from
the sale of the heroin in Europe and the United States afforded the ISI the
opportunity to continue to finance its proxy war against the Soviets; and
(3) the proceeds from the drugs also helped to support Pakistan’s
burgeoning nuclear weapons program. It, too, was a program the United
States knew of, but did nothing about. Following the expulsion of the
Soviets from Afghanistan, heroin smugglers in Pakistan used their
experience from Afghanistan to increase their smuggling to the West.28
Several notable terrorists rose out of the ashes of the Soviet occupation of
Afghanistan and the CIA–ISI’s joint efforts to oust them. Included among
them are Ramzi Yousef, the individual responsible for the February 1993
bombing of New York City’s World Trade Center; Mir Aimal Kansi, who
in 1993 murdered two CIA employees outside of CIA headquarters in
Langley, Virginia; and Osama bin-Laden, as well as a whole host of
Islamic militants in the Philippines and narcotics smugglers in Pakistan.29
Since partition in 1947, Pakistan has tried in vain to wrest control of Muslimdominated
Jammu and Kashmir from India. For most of this period, the ISI
has used Islamic militants living in Kashmir to foment discord. Since
partition the ISI has also served as the ‘‘principal liaison’’ with militant
Islamic organizations, many of which the United States now considers
terrorist organizations. Included are the Allah Tigers, al-Umar
Mujahideen, Harkat ul-Ansar, Hizb-ul-Islam, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Jamaat
Hurriyat Conference, and the Muslim mujahideen.30
Joint Intelligence North (JIN), the ISI section that supervises Islamic
militants in Jammu and Kashmir, has been largely responsible for
providing financial aid, military assistance, and logistical assistance to
militants in the region.31
The modern plan to drive India out of Jammu and Kashmir was
formulated in 1984 by then ISI Director-General Hamid Gul. The ISI
originally implemented its plan via propaganda, then steadily increased
pressure in the 1990s as ISI-backed Islamic militants began to launch
strikes and street rallies. The militants then conducted terrorist attacks
against Indian interests in Kashmir.32
Young Islamic militants were trained in Jammu and Kashmir, and the ISI
is believed to have funded the campaigns of Kashmiri politicians or bribed
them outright, to gain their support.33
Starting in 1989, following the withdrawal of Soviet forces and the
election of Benazir Bhutto34 to the presidency, the ISI began supporting
Islamic separatist organizations, such as the Jamaat E-Islami as part of
a ‘‘process of Islamization and revolt.’’35 Consequently, the ISI started
using monies garnered from its Afghani drug smuggling operation to
finance ISI-backed terrorist incursions into the Indian provinces of
Contd in next post


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
Contd from previous post

Kashmir and Punjab.36
The ISI is believed to spend nearly Rs 100 Crores 37 every year to run its
proxy war in Kashmir. Islamic militants inside Jammu and Kashmir receive
arms and ammunition from the ISI. It also directs indoctrination programs
and runs training camps, which in turn produce seasoned and motivated
Islamic militants experienced in the use of advanced weapons systems and
According to the Indian military, prior to 11 September 2001, the ISI
had approximately thirty camps running in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
and Pakistan proper. It was assisted in running these camps by the
Harkat-ul-Ansar (HUA),39 which is known for having close ties with
Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist network. The HUA’s two militias,
the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Jihad, provide food, shelter,
and clothing for trainees at these camps. In addition, the ISI has
contracted militants from Afghanistan, Bahrain, Chechnya, Iran,
Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, and Yemen to fight in
Finally, the ISI is known to have supplied Islamic militants in Kashmir
with assault rifles and more advanced weapons systems, which included the
Russian Snayperskaya Vinyovka Dragunov (SVD) sniper rifle, surface to
air missile systems (SAMs), and plastic explosives.41
The ISI is also believed to be cooperating with Bangladesh’s intelligence
service in contacting Bangladeshi insurgents in India’s northeastern region
and the province of Assam.42
The ISI is believed to have assassinated Shah Nawaz Bhutto, the brother of
former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto,43 in 1985 by poisoning him on the
French Riviera. The ISI’s intention was to intimidate Bhutto into not
returning to Pakistan to push for democratic elections. She refused to be
intimidated, and returned home after General Zia was killed in a plane
crash. In 1988, she won the Prime Minister’s position.44
By that time, it had become readily apparent to many in Pakistan that
the ISI was out of control. That belief was confirmed in 1990 when a
commission Bhutto had appointed to look into ISI’s activities concluded
that the organization ‘‘had the makings of a de facto government.’’
Consequently, Bhutto tried to rein in its power. Prior to the release of
the report, she had already taken steps to curb ISI’s role. Her first step
was to halt the practice of appointing a Lieutenant General
recommended by the Army Chief of Staff as the Director-General.
Instead, in 1989 she renamed Major General Shamsur Rahman Kallue
to the post. Next, she borrowed a page from her father, and tried to
bring the ISI under her control by promoting generals loyal to her into
Pakistan’s two other intelligence services, the Federal Investigation
Agency (FIA), which launched attacks against ISI-backed Islamic
extremists, and to the Intelligence Bureau (IB). Unfortunately for
Bhutto, these steps drew the ire of Army Chief of Staff General Aslam
Beg. Along with her maladroit efforts at influencing other key Army
appointments, Bhutto quickly found herself at loggerheads with General
Beg, which ultimately led to her dismissal by Pakistan’s President in
August 1990.45
Under the leadership of Director-General Hameed Gul, the ISI’s role in
Pakistani politics grew again. ISI’s activities are thought to have included
rigging the 1990 elections, which brought Nawaz Sharif to his first term as
Prime Minister.46
Like his predecessor, Sharif (1990–1993) also tried to bring the ISI under
control. Following his election, he appointed Lieutenant General Javed Nasir
as Director-General, even though Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General
Asif Nawaz Janjua had not recommended him. Unfortunately for Sharif,
Nasir’s appointment seems to have had little influence on the ISI’s day to
day operations.47
During her second term as Prime Minister, Bhutto once again tried to
regulate the ISI’s power by transferring its responsibility for clandestine
operations inside Afghanistan to the Ministry of the Interior. Sections
of the ISI close to then-Pakistani President Farooq Leghari had
Bhutto’s surviving brother, Murtaza Bhutto, murdered outside of his
house in Karachi in September 1996. The ISI then undertook a
propaganda campaign within the Pakistani media blaming Prime
Minister Bhutto and her husband for Murtaza’s murder. The cloud of
suspicion surrounding Bhutto afforded President Leghari the impetus
to dismiss her in November, once again bringing Nawaz Sharif to

Despite trying to curb the ISI’s power, Benazir Bhutto had an onerous
legacy. Pakistan has long used the ISI’s active role in Afghanistan as a
means of controlling the Afghan mujahideen and shaping its own
regional foreign policy objectives. In 1989, following the withdrawal of
Soviet forces from Afghanistan, the ISI chose to increase Pakistan’s
strategic strength in the region by establishing an ‘‘Islamic Caliphate’’ in
In 1994, Bhutto, at the behest of an American oil firm50 and several family
friends in Pakistan’s army, threw her support behind a group of Islamic
Afghan students, known as the Taliban, then located in the Pakistani city
of Kandahar. Absent of any ISI influence, the Taliban at first proved to be
particularly successful. Members of warring factions from across
Afghanistan left their own camps to rally under the Taliban’s flag. The
ISI, taking notice of the Taliban’s gains, secured financial backing from
Bhutto’s government and began to recruit students from madrasas all over
Pakistan in an effort to support the fledgling Taliban, then led by Mullah
Muhammad Omar.51
Using resources and contacts left over from the resistance to Soviet
occupation, and with ISI support and training, the Taliban bribed local
tribal warlords and conducted guerilla tactics in their efforts to gain power
in Afghanistan. In 1996, after two years of fighting, the ISI-backed Taliban
managed to defeat most of the warring factions and gained control of
approximately ninety-five percent of the country. Since then, the ISI has
been accused of actively supporting both the Taliban and bin Laden’s
terrorist organization, al-Qaeda.52
During his second term as Prime Minister (1997–1999), Nawaz Sharif again
tried to curb the ISI’s power, appointing Lieutenant General Ziauddin as
Director-General even though the Army Chief of Staff, General Pervez
Musharraf, had objected to his appointment. In response, Musharraf
named Lieutenant General Muhammad Aziz, then ISI’s Deputy Director-
General, as Director-General of Military Intelligence (DGMI). Musharraf
then placed Joint Intelligence North (JIN), the ISI division responsible for
conducting clandestine intelligence activities, under Aziz’s control.
Relations between Sharif and Musharraf deteriorated even further in 1999,
when Sharif dispatched Ziauddin to meet with officials in the Bill Clinton
administration in Washington, D.C., where they discussed Sharif’s
concerns over Musharraf’s continued loyalty. Returning to Pakistan,
Ziauddin was then ordered by Sharif to travel to Kandahar to pressure
Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar to stop supporting Islamic
fundamentalists in Pakistan and to work with Washington in extraditing
bin Laden to the United States. Upon learning of Ziauddin’s trip,
Musharraf dispatched Aziz to Kandahar, where he instructed Mullah
Omar that he was to disregard Ziauddin and instead follow his
instructions, which had Musharraf’s backing.53
By now, Sharif was widely viewed by many members of the public and the
Army, especially Musharraf, as becoming increasingly dictatorial. Musharraf
argued that Sharif was taking too many liberties in his running of the army.
On 19 October 1999, in a popularly backed coup, General Musharraf
overthrew Sharif and took control of the government, declaring himself
Chief Executive.54 Turning to the ISI, now–President Musharraf dismissed
ISI Director-General Ziauddin, and replaced him with Lt.-General Ahmed
Mahmud, an Islamic conservative.55
Politicians and political pundits in the United States have repeatedly asserted
that everything changed on 11 September 2001. Those words could not have
been truer for the ISI’s relationship with the United States and Afghanistan.
Prior to 11 September, neither the ISI nor the Pakistani government had any
desire to hand Osama bin Laden over to the United States. In fact, it is
believed that just prior to 11 September, the ISI had dispatched additional
operatives to Afghanistan to aid the Taliban.56
On 11 August, just a month before the terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon, General Musharraf was quoted in an
interview by the Russian newspaper Noviye Izvestia as saying ‘‘the
Taliban . . . control about 95% of the territory [Afghanistan] and cannot be
wished away. . . .We feel that the international community should engage
the Taliban rather than isolating them and ostracizing them.’’57
On 11 September, the ISI’s GeneralMahmud was inWashington at the time
of the attacks, and pledged to provide the United States with the intelligence it
needed to pursue its war on terror.58 Despite Mahmud’s promises, at least five
ISI intelligence officers are known to have assisted the Taliban in preparing
Afghan defenses against an imminent American attack.59
But President Musharraf subsequently forced the ISI to do an about-face
regarding its role in Afghanistan. In October, Musharraf sent Mahmud to
Kandahar in Afghanistan as part of a diplomatic mission to tell Mullah
Muhammad Omar to hand bin Laden over to the United States. Instead,
Mahmud did the exact opposite, advising Mullah Omar not to hand bin
Laden over. When Musharraf, who has long had strong ties to the ISI,
learned of Mahmud’s actions, he decided to bring the agency under his
control by removing its Director-General, replacing him with Lieutenant-
General Ehsan ul-Haq, who is believed to share Musharraf’s pro-Western
views. Ehsan, considered a moderate and a friend of Musharraf, had
previously served as the head of military intelligence, and is widely
respected within Pakistan’s military and by senior American intelligence
While relations between the United States and Pakistan have warmed
considerably with the ISI’s removal from Afghanistan, relations between
India and Pakistan continue to remain tense. India holds Musharraf
responsible for the 1999 conflict in the Kashmiri province of Kargil,
known as the Kargil War.61
Relations between India and Pakistan became more complicated when, on
13 December 2001, Kashmiri separatists staged an attack on India’s
Parliament in Delhi. The Indian government under Prime Minister Atal
Bihari Vajpayi blamed ISI-backed Islamic militants for the incident and
began to mount troops on the POK border. In response, Musharraf,
fearing an all-out war with India, is believed to have instructed the ISI to
make sure that Islamic militants not carry out any more attacks.62
The following month, in January 2002, President Musharraf pledged that
his country would contribute to the War on Terror, and began to disband the
ISI’s Afghanistan and Kashmir departments. ISI officials have reported that
as many as forty percent of those working for the ISI could be reassigned,
thereby reducing the ISI staff from an estimated 10,000 to 6,000. By
February 2002 intelligence officers within the Afghanistan and Kashmir
divisions had already been transferred, with more transfers expected.63
While the ISI’s Afghanistan division is believed to have been closed down
entirely, the Kashmir section continues to be more of a challenge since it
serves as one of Pakistan’s main sources of information on Indian
intelligence activities in the region. The ISI also has a long history of
providing logistical and military support to Islamic Kashmiri separatists.64
The major sticking point in the ISI’s restructuring is the agency’s
reluctance to shut down the Kashmir division for two primary reasons: (1)
the ISI and the Pakistani government do not trust the Indian government
and want to continue to conduct intelligence operations in the region; and
(2) the ISI is already troubled by the loss of its Afghanistan division.
President Musharraf may not want to further antagonize the agency by
completely shutting down its Kashmir division.65
Under pressure from the George W. Bush administration in Washington,
the ISI has also begun to sever its ties with Islamic extremists in the region,
most notably with the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Muhammad
groups.66, 67
In addition, the ISI’s domestic political intelligence operations are being
transferred to Pakistan’s civilian intelligence service, the Intelligence

President Musharraf, as a former Army Chief of Staff, may better be able
to bring the ISI, which is part of Pakistan’s military structure, under control.
According to Gary Samore of the International Institute for Strategic Studies
in London, ‘‘under civilian rule the ISI had a fair amount of
independence . . . under Musharraf they are answerable.’’69
Following the 11 September attacks and the initiation of President Bush’s
response of a ‘‘war on terror,’’ the United States began to rely heavily on
intelligence provided by the ISI. In return for American electronic
intelligence (ELINT) and financial remuneration, the ISI has provided the
United States with human intelligence (HUMINT) of extreme importance
because the ISI is believed to possess vast stores of intelligence on bin
Laden, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban. In addition, the ISI has detained
suspected al-Qaeda operatives as they attempt to cross into Pakistan, and
have handed many over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). A
most notable capture of a top-level al-Qaeda operative came in April 2002,
when the ISI informed the FBI of the whereabouts of Abu Zubaydah, al-
Qaeda’s operations chief. This information allowed the FBI to place a
tracking device on Zubaydah’s car, which eventually led to his arrest by
federal agents and deportation to the prison established for the purpose at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.70
Despite their cooperation with the U.S. effort, both Musharraf and the ISI
have their detractors. Afghanistan’s Interior Minister, Younis Qanooni, has
accused the ISI of helping bin Laden flee Afghanistan.71 Pakistan, which
views Afghanistan’s new government as being pro-Indian, has vehemently
denied the accusation.72
Until quite recently the ISI has been a ‘‘kingdom within a kingdom,’’
answerable to neither the army nor Pakistan’s President. Its leaders have
used their power to constrain political opponents at home, while
conducting various intelligence operations abroad.
With the rise of President Musharraf, and Pakistan’s strengthened
relationship with the United States, enough pressure may now exist to afford
Musharraf the opportunity to bring the ISI firmly under government control.


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
some, comments on this issue on another forum by few posters:

So putting it simplistically, the Britishers decide to split India. Then some of them play inky-pinky-ponky, and assign themselves to India and Pakistan. And then arrange a convenient 1948 "episode". :evil: After exploiting India for centuries that is just rubbing salt to the wound.
It is like the movie "Trading Spaces" where the two Duke brothers decide to have fun and bet at the expense of others. To top it off they bet for just one dollar.

And we are left holding he bag :(( :((

Could Cawthorne be the one orchestrating the 1948 kashmir jihad? Recall he was in charge of the military Intelligence in British Indian Army and knew the strengths and weaknesses. And could have been in charge of all those Chindit windits.

Also could he have been hedging for the Aussies? I mean trying to shore up the Pakistan as a hedge against Indian resurgence post independence?

I think he needs more study. And his circle of friends
can someone dig up anything on religiousness of Cawthorne ? Was he a religious man ?

there is a strong Christian component of the brit & american who consider Islam to be a sibling religion and patronise it quite a bit.
Chindits was the brainchild of Brigadier Orde Wingate (an ardent Zionist). Not sure if Cawthorne had a role to play there. However it would be worth the trouble to figure out what his WWII record was like.

It needs to be noted that what Cawthorne was doing was not a off deal. such was the consensus amongst the servants of the british empire.


Senior Member
Apr 1, 2009
Alison Keamo

From its beginning and eventually through time, the ISI has gained more and more responsibilities. They have proven themselves worthy and have been let into many different fields. Now, it is so large that it is organized into 6-8 divisions:

-Joint Intelligence X (JIX): coordinates and provides administrative support

-Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB): responsible for political intelligence; most powerful component

-Joint Counter Intelligence Bureau (JCIB): secures Pakistani diplomats stationed abroad

-Joint Intelligence/North (JIN): responsible for Jammu & Kashmir operations and the control of organizations such as Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, the Lashkar-e-Toiba, the Al Badr and Maulana Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammad; it also controls all opium cultivation and heroin refining and smuggling from Pakistani and Afghan territory

-Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous (JIM): sends spies to learn military secrets of other countries

-Joint Signal Intelligence Bureau (JSIB): focuses on technological operations for communications to military operating in Kashmir

-Joint Intelligence Technical (JIT): responsible for the collection of all technical intelligence other than communications intelligence and for research and development in gadgetry; also includes a separate section for explosives and chemical

Sri Lanka Guardian: Role of Secret Agencies

The organisation has enormous power, influence and resources and virtually no constraints and checks. It is broadly divided in to twelve divisions and each division is further divided in to sections and sub sections: 1/ Joint Counter Intelligence Bureau (JCIB), 2/Joint Intelligence Signal Bureau (JISB) 3/ Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB), 4/ Joint Intelligence Finance (JIF), 5/ Joint Intelligence Technical (JIT), 6/ Joint Armed Direction Group (JADG), 7/ Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous (JIM), 8/ Joint Intelligence North (JIN), 9/ Joint Intelligence X (JIX), 10/ Foreign Liaison Section (FLS). 11/ Inter Services Federal Intelligence (ISFI), 12/ Public and Service Groups (PASG).

Each Division is headed by a senior serving army officers, and they are all dedicated and loyal stalwarts of the organisation and protect corporate and national interest, although national interest changes with time and is generally defined by them. In other words Pakistans national interest is perceived, articulated and defined by them with help of other ideologues who might necessarily be directly employed, and it is they who call the shots whenever they perceive a threat to this national threat.

I have heard many times Kashmiri political activists and leaders referring to ISI as Jin or Jinaat. :D Jinaat are creatures of Allah with enormous powers and are not visible to human beings. May be this reference is made because of enormous powers ISI personnel wield and their apparent invisibility; but I didnt know that JIN was also abbreviation of one Division of ISI known as Joint Intelligence North, and which is responsible for operations related to Kashmir and India.

Apart from JIN, JIM (Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous) has also very crucial role and is responsible for forward intelligence tasks, sabotage and subversion operations in foreign countries. It is believed that three sections are devoted to India alone; and JIM and JIN have close coordination with fundamentalists and jihadi groups in various countries.
This is not to suggest that Indian and agencies of other countries are not involved in illegal and extra - judicial operations. Pakistan claims that the Indian RAW and other agencies are also very active inside Pakistan, and their aim is to destabilise and weaken Pakistan.

Taimur Kashmiri

Regular Member
Mar 15, 2010

ISI Chief Gets One-year Service Extension​
ISLAMABAD: The Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has given a one-year extension in service to Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha to allow him to complete his tenure as three-star general and, more importantly, as head of the country’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Sources told Dawn a summary for Lt. Gen Pasha’s extension, initiated by the Defence Ministry, had been approved by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The summary, they said, had reached the General Headquarters (GHQ) through the Defence Ministry.

The news of extension has become public only a day after the army chief met President Asif Zardari and officials here believe that the matter may have been discussed at the meeting.

Lt. Gen Pasha is the fourth Lt. General to be given extension in service by the present army chief.

Although service extension is always viewed with scepticism, in the case of Lt. Gen Pasha it was widely expected but many believe it meets the merit criterion.

They say that although he reaches the age of superannuation on March 18, more than a year remains in his tenure as a three-star general.

Besides, some senior security analysts said, Gen Pasha was directly involved in major missions, most important of them being the security establishment’s decision to systematically eradicate the militancy from the country.

Gen Pasha is one of the few chiefs of ISI who have remained in close touch with the administration and have briefed members of parliament on the ongoing military operations in Malakand and tribal agencies.

Regarded by most serving and retired military officials as an upright and dedicated intelligence official, Gen Pasha is also considered to be a close confidant of army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. He served as Director-General Military Operations (DGMO) at the army headquarters and oversaw military engagements in Waziristan, Swat and other areas.

In October 2007, Gen Pasha was selected as military adviser to Secretary-General of United Nations, but due to his commitments as DGMO he did not join the UN.

Soon after coming into power, the present government tried to place the premier intelligence agency under the administrative, financial, and operational control of the Interior Ministry, but it failed to do so and had to shelve the controversial notification.

Lt. Gen Pasha was appointed as Director General ISI in September 2008, replacing Lt General Nadeem Taj, who had been appointed by Pervez Musharraf.

It may be mentioned that Nadeem Taj had been appointed ISI chief in place of the present army chief.

President Zardari in a meeting with PM Gilani, COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha (R) at the presidential palace

excellent news for Pakistan


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Army Chief Driving Pakistan’s Agenda for Talks

KARACHI, Pakistan — In a sign of the mounting power of the army over the civilian government in Pakistan, the head of the military, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, will be the dominant Pakistani participant in important meetings in Washington this week.

T. Mughal/European Pressphoto Agency
Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has met with cabinet officials at the military's headquarters.

Notes from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other areas of conflict in the post-9/11 era.
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At home, much has been made of how General Kayani has driven the agenda for the talks. They have been billed as cabinet-level meetings, with the foreign minister as the nominal head of the Pakistani delegation. But it has been the general who has been calling the civilian heads of major government departments, including finance and foreign affairs, to his army headquarters to discuss final details, an unusual move in a democratic system.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has been taking a public role in trying to set the tone, insisting that the United States needs to do more for Pakistan, as “we have already done too much.” And it was at his request that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed this fall to reopen talks between the countries at the ministerial level.

The talks are expected to help define the relationship between the United States and Pakistan as the war against the Taliban reaches its endgame phase in Afghanistan. It is in that context that General Kayani’s role in organizing the agenda has raised alarm here in Pakistan, a country with a long history of military juntas.

The leading financial newspaper, The Business Recorder, suggested in an editorial that the civilian government of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani should act more forcefully and “shun creating an environment conducive to military intervention.”

The editorial added, “The government needs to consolidate civilian rule instead of handing over its responsibilities, like coordination between different departments, to the military.”

“General Kayani is in the driver’s seat,” said Rifaat Hussain, a professor of international relations at Islamabad University. “It is unprecedented that an army chief of staff preside over a meeting of federal secretaries.”

General Kayani visited the headquarters of the United States Central Command in Tampa, Fla., over the weekend, and will attend meetings at the Pentagon with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Monday. He is also to attend the opening ceremony of the talks between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Qureshi at the State Department on Wednesday, a spokesman at the American Embassy in Islamabad said.

The most pressing concerns in the talks, according to officials on both sides, will be trying to establish confidence after several years of a corrosive relationship between allies, which only in the past few months has started to gain some positive momentum.

But the complexity of the main topics at hand — the eventual American pullout from Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s concerns about India — is expected to make for a tough round of talks.

On the positive side for Pakistan, the Obama administration has been rethinking its policies toward the country, said Maleeha Lodhi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States.

“There is a realization that some of its assumptions over the past year were not correct: that Pakistan’s security paradigm could be changed, that its military could be pressured,” Ms. Lodhi said.

Meanwhile, concerned about efforts by the Afghan government to engage in talks with Taliban rebels, who have important bases and allies on Pakistani soil, the Pakistani government will offer itself as a mediator in any such negotiations, Professor Hussain said.

He said that the message would be, “If you want to talk to bring the Afghan Taliban into the mainstream, you should talk to us.”

Tensions with Afghanistan have been raised by some of Pakistan’s recent operations against the Taliban, most notably the recent capture in Pakistan of a senior Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. The former head of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, said Friday that the arrest had jeopardized back-channel negotiations with Mr. Baradar’s faction of the Taliban.

But the spokesman for the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, Abdul Basit, said Saturday that Mr. Baradar’s arrest had nothing to do with reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.

India’s growing role in Afghanistan was also high on Pakistan’s agenda. The spokesman for the Pakistani military, Gen. Athar Abbas, said Pakistan would be “conveying very clearly” its displeasure with India’s offer to help train the Afghan Army at the behest of American and NATO forces. Pakistan has made a counteroffer to train the Afghans, an offer that Pakistan knows is unlikely to be accepted but that it made to pressure Washington to stop the Indian proposal, Pakistani analysts said.

General Kayani arrives in Washington after what the Pakistani military considers a stellar nine months in fighting the Pakistani Taliban, first in the region of Swat and most recently in South Waziristan.

The militants, according to the Pakistanis, have been weakened in their bases in the tribal areas, but at a high cost. According to Pakistani Army figures, 2,377 soldiers were killed in the two campaigns. About 1 in 10 of those killed were officers, a very high rate, Professor Hussain said.

With those sacrifices and the heavy toll on army equipment in mind, Pakistan is expecting quicker reimbursement from the United States of its expenses in fighting the militants, General Abbas said.

Pakistan has complained that the United States has unfairly held up payments of $1.2 billion for 2009 under an agreement to help finance the fight against insurgents. For its part, Washington says its auditors need to satisfy Congress that the Pakistani military has properly spent the money owed.

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