Founded in 1948 by a British army officer, Major General William Cawthorne, the ISI ballooned in the 1980s when the CIA entrusted it with billions of dollars of assistance for mujahideen rebels fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan. It is thought to have 10,000 employees, three-quarters of whom are serving army officers on secondments from other units. The remainder is a mix of civilians and retired officers.
It’s the end of the Second World War, and the United States is deciding what to do about two immense, poor, densely populated countries in Asia. America chooses one of the countries, becoming its benefactor. Over the decades, it pours billions of dollars into that country’s economy, training and equipping its military and its intelligence services. The stated goal is to create a reliable ally with strong institutions and a modern, vigorous democracy. The other country, meanwhile, is spurned because it forges alliances with America’s enemies.
The country not chosen was India, which “tilted” toward the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Pakistan became America’s protégé, firmly supporting its fight to contain Communism. The benefits that Pakistan accrued from this relationship were quickly apparent: in the nineteen-sixties, its economy was an exemplar. India, by contrast, was a byword for basket case. Fifty years then went by. What was the result of this social experiment?
Milton Bearden, a former C.I.A. station chief in Pakistan, once described Gul to me as having a “rococo” personality. In 2004, I visited Gul—a short man with a rigid, military posture and raptor-like features—at his villa in Rawalpindi. He proudly asked his servant to bring me an orange from his private grove. I asked Gul why, during the Afghan jihad, he had favored Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the seven warlords who had been designated to receive American assistance in the fight against the Soviets. Hekmatyar was the most brutal member of the group, but, crucially, he was a Pashtun, like Gul. As I ate the orange, Gul offered a more principled rationale for his choice: “I went to each of the seven, you see, and I asked them, ‘I know you are the strongest, but who is No. 2?’ ” He formed a tight, smug smile. “They all said Hekmatyar.”
The main beneficiary of U.S. money, the Pakistani military, has never won a war, but, according to “Military Inc.,” by Ayesha Siddiqa, it has done very well in its investments: hotels, real estate, shopping malls. Such entrepreneurship, however corrupt, fills a gap, as Pakistan’s economy is now almost entirely dependent on American taxpayers. In a country of a hundred and eighty million people, fewer than two million citizens pay taxes, and Pakistan’s leaders are doing little to change the situation.
Ali Soufan, a former F.B.I. special agent who interrogated many of the Al Qaeda members captured in Pakistan, told me that “the majority of them said that Lashkar-e-Taiba had given them shelter.” After the battle of Tora Bora, he added, the Al Qaeda members who fled to Pakistan—including top leaders—were greeted by Lashkar operatives and taken to safe houses. Some Pakistanis worry that Lashkar may become the new Al Qaeda.
Internally the ISI is divided into lettered sections, the most notorious of which is the S wing, which manages the relationship with Islamist militant groups. The C wing liaises with foreign intelligence services, and includes a CIA-funded counter-terrorism centre. Quite often, western spies complain, the C wing says one thing while the S does another.
Theoretically the ISI reports to Pakistan's prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani. In reality it answers to the army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani. It is much more powerful than Pakistan's other spy outfits, Military Intelligence (MI) and the civilian Intelligence Bureau (IB).
A number of investigative reports have suggested that the I.S.I. diverted American money designated for fighting terrorism to the Taliban. According to a 2007 document released by WikiLeaks, U.S. military interrogators at Guantánamo implicitly acknowledged this problem when they placed the I.S.I. on an internal list of “terrorist and terrorist-support entities.”
Eight days before Osama bin Laden was killed, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the head of the Pakistani Army, went to the Kakul military academy in Abbottabad, less than a mile from the villa where bin Laden was living. “General Kayani told the cadets, ‘We have broken the backbone of the militants,’ ” Pir Zubair Shah, the reporter, told me. “But the backbone was right there.” Perhaps with a touch of theatre, Hamid Gul, the former I.S.I. chief, publicly expressed wonder that bin Laden was living in a city with three army regiments, less than a mile from an élite military academy, in a house that appeared to have been built expressly to protect him. Aside from the military, Gul told the Associated Press, “there is the local police, the Intelligence Bureau, Military Intelligence, the I.S.I. They all had a presence there.”
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Re: ISI Double Game .... S-Wing operation details. An Eye Opener review.
Originally Posted by EniGma90
ye wo PAKISTAN hai jisne Afghanistan ki zameen pe eik super power ko shikast di or dusra super power shikast ke qareeb hai,
ye wo PAKISTAN hai jis k khilaf Israel, India or America ne ittehad krliya hai lekin is ko torne me nakam hai,
ye wo PAKISTAN hai jis ne Arab Israel jang main Israel ke 6(SIX) F16 gira diye jb k sare arab israel ke aage ghutne taik chuke thay,
ye wo PAKISTAN hai jb 1999 me srilanka ki 60,000 army india k trained Tamil tigers k muhasre me thi to poori dunya me sirf pakistan ne aag or khoon ke maidan me utar kr srilanka ke army ko bacha liya,
pakistan wahid mulk hai jis ne 63 sal ki umer me 8 jangain lari hain , taqseem k waqt, 1948, 1965 , 1971, russain war, kargil, mojoda jang , es k bawjood hum na sirf zinda and atomic power b hain....
plz stop degrading pakistan and ourselves as pakistanis......
Yeh woh Pakistan hai jiss ho jang, fauj, aur hathyaar sey ik ajeeb mohabat hai laikin EDUCATION, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, LANGUAGE, TOLERANCE, PROGRESS, EQUALITY ko tarjeeh nahin deyta.
Yeh woh Pakistan hai jo Saudi aur CIA k CHANDA aur Aid sey USSR ko haraney mein barra fakhr mehsoos karta hai
yeh woh Pakistan jis ney Arab BADSHAH aur DICTATORS ki apney khud ki awam ko marney mein madad ki (Black September 1970 with Zia ul Haq, sending mercenaries to Bahrain, killing unarmed Iranian pilgrims in Makkah back in 1980s and what not)
yeh woh Pakistan hai jis ney China, North Korea, Libya, Iran, Saudi sey bheeg maang maang kar (aur plans chori kar k) apna Atom Bumm zaroor bana liya laikin EDUCATION SYSTEM ko na sambhal saka!
yeh woh pakistan hai jiss ki 50% sey zyada awam illiterate aur frustrated mehsoos karti hai...laikin fauji budget zindabad!
yeh woh Pakistan hai jiss ki apni ghaltioun aur badmashi sey 1971 ka waqeya dekhna parra!
Last edited by M Ali Khan; 06-Jun-2011 at 05:07 PM.
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