Friday, November 28, 2008

ISI role in Mumbai mayhem

Nirendra Dev

NEW DELHI, Nov. 28: Shell-shocked by the unprecedented assault on Mumbai, India’s Intelligence agencies are taking a closer look at the metamorphosis of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) into an omnipotent Intelligence agency in Pakistan where it is practically unanswerable to the Army, President and Prime Minister.

Over the years, with its dominant role in governance and subversion in neighbouring countries, especially India, ISI has controlled the levers of power, especially in deciding Pakistan’s foreign policy. The move to invite the ISI director general, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, needs to be seen in that context.

Founded in 1948 by Maj Gen R Cawthorne, the ISI has been able to project Jehad as a cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy especially in regard to India and Afghanistan, Intelligence officials said.

The ISI assumed its larger-than-life image during the Ayub Khan regime in 1960s when it was given a free hand for political espionage. It got a major boost in the 1970s when Gen Zia-ul-Haq took over. The ISI influence increased dramatically thereafter when the US found Zia’s Pakistan a “willing ally to checkmate” Soviet moves in Afghanistan.

The ISI with the CIA plunged into organising formulae and logistics for the Afghan rebels and soon assumed the influential role of ferrying weapons from the US and Saudi Arabia. The ISI had so much clout once that Americans remained unmoved when it allegedly “siphoned” off about 40 per cent of funds meant for Afghan refugees.

The ISI’s tentacles slowly spread all over the Arab world and in the garb of promoting Jehad in Afghanistan, it also came in contact with various Muslim terror organisations in West Asia and Africa. Indian officials believe that supported by CIA, the ISI along with Osama bin Laden was instrumental in bringing about 30,000 Islamic militants to Pakistan and Afghanistan from other countries. Some foreign mercenaries were also sneaked into Jammu and Kashmir in India in the 1990s.

Under Lt Gen Hamid Gul from 1987-89, the ISI strengthened its grip on “Islamic terror forces and Pakistan’s polity” which was taken forward during the stint of Lt Gen Javed Nasir from March 1992-94. The ISI embarked upon long-term plans of “intelligence encirclement” of India. It established a strong network in Nepal and Bangladesh, Dubai, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Now, that terrorists reportedly in conjunction with the ISI, often called CIA’s Frankenstein, have struck Mumbai, it is ironic that many foreign visitors, including Americans, have come under attack.

1 comment:


This was Pakistan SSG commando operation.