Nations use tremendous revenue to ensure that they have the best security in their armed forces. They do this to ensure that their citizens are safe from external and internal attacks. Although this is an excellent effort the governments take, their intelligence service also influences their countries’ security.
From sophisticated spies to internet hackers, a country will significantly depend on the effectiveness of intelligence services to provide safety to its citizens. With this knowledge, many nations have worked extra hard to create the most effective intelligence services for their countries. These intelligence services are also known to be at the forefront of the government’s decision-making. Some of the top intelligence services globally include the CIA in the USA, the RAW in India, the Inter-Services Intelligence in Pakistan, and many more.
This article will tackle more on the Pakistani intelligence service, also known as the ISI. We will also talk about how much power the service has on its hands and some accusations against the service. We will also talk about the Inter-Services Intelligence global reach and their power projection in different areas.
About Pakistani Intelligence ISI
Ranked by the American crime news as the number one spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence was started in 1948. The Inter-Services Intelligence was reported to be the best and the most substantial intelligence agency in the world. The agency works almost invisibly and deceptively to protect the most valuable assets of Pakistan. The agency takes part in all manner of security that concerns Pakistan. For instance, the agency might advise the Pakistan army in handling the most suitable and effective countermeasures to ensure top-notch safety in Pakistan. The Inter-Services Intelligence is known to be an intelligence service very close to the Pakistan army.
The agency works to neutralize any internal and external attacks on Pakistan, and it also pays heed to political matters in the country. The agency also has had its fair share of accusations. We will look into some of the Inter-Services Intelligence allegations, especially the latest ones in global news.
Pakistani Intelligence Power Projection on Pakistani
A nation’s intelligence service mainly shapes the modern country’s battlefields, which is no different in Pakistan intelligence. In Pakistan, the Inter-Services Intelligence is shaping the army to lead Pakistani while the civilian government is shielding it. Although the PM of Pakistan gets to choose the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence from the advice of the army chief, it does not mean that the army chief’s loyalty is to the civilian government. It means that the army chief gets to decide who is best suited in helping him fulfil his plans for the whole country.
In Pakistan, no matter what power or authority you may have, you can never question the Inter-Services Intelligence over the country’s running. The PM Nawaz Sharif tried to challenge the Inter-Services Intelligence, and he was in for a rude shock. He was forcefully removed from his post based on some trumped-up charges and sent to prison for the whole duration of the elections to enable the army chief’s choice Imran Khan to gain power as PM.
The other political parties vying for the PM seat understood whom the Inter-Services Intelligence wanted as the PM and refused to comment. Nawaz Sherrif was later released when it was time for Imran Khan was ready to take office. This was enough to showcase what the Inter-Services Intelligence wanted and whom they wanted as PM for Pakistan. This also explains why there was a crackdown on people who were against the prime minister in 2019.
In the political race, Asif Ali Zardari was also threatened that he withdrew from the race and later on was largely ignored. The high court judge of Islamabad was the only one who lay bare the intentions the ISIS but was sacked afterwards on the recommendation of the chief army.
The main reason for his removal of this high court judge was his opposing solid views on the Inter-Services Intelligence and the army. In his statement, he stated that the judiciary and even the media were under the army. The judiciary and the media were not at liberty to decide except the direction of the army. If he had stayed on the high court judge for longer, he could have put a hold on the Inter-Services Intelligence, which is why the Inter-Services Intelligence would have anyone else on the seat instead of him. The removal of this judge was under the recommendation of Mian Saqib Nisar, the chief justice who was the same chief justice who ruled the ouster of Nawaz Sharif. The sentencing of Mr Sharif was under incorrect inputs showing other politicians that they should stay under the army rule or else they would face the onslaught of both the judiciary and the army.
Pakistani Intelligence Power Projection on the Media
Some anti-establishment writers and some bloggers have seen their homes ransacked due to the views they may have posted on their blogs. Some have been kidnapped only to come back later with total amnesia about what had happened to them. Only a few of these writers and bloggers have been able to escape. Those who have managed to escape have left the country with claims of the Inter-Services Intelligence attacks and the supporters.
Taha Siddiqui is the latest victim of the attacks on Inter-Services Intelligence and army critics. Siddiqui, however, managed to escape and narrated his incident with the Pakistani Intelligence ISI. The New York Times reported the Taha Siddiqui incident in a post where he had this to say
“it has been an open season on journalists and critics of Pakistan’s military for years now. Disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture and intimidation – all have been brought to bare and in the vast majority of the cases, no one has ever been brought to justice.”
The media personnel kidnapped and later released have preferred leaving the country searching for their safety. More recently, there has been another case where the dawn journalist, Cyril Almeida, alongside Nawaz Sharif, was accused of treason following an interview that Cyril had with Nawaz Sharif. In his interview, Nawaz Shariff had stated, ” should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai.”
The journalist face so much pressure that he had stopped publishing his weekly column. The case is still in progress, but that tells you that you should never challenge the army in Pakistan, or the Inter-Services Intelligence will eventually come after you.
Newspapers and TV channels in the country have been restricted on what they share by the ISI. All the Inter-Services Intelligence needs is to make one call, and the media house can be blocked or restricted. Media heads are sometimes briefed on what they should report regarding the security of the country. Some reporters have been sacked on the grounds of being anti-army biased of what they say when reporting. This means that the citizens only get informed on what the Inter-Services Intelligence wants them to know.
By this time, Pakistan has remained the only nation with its army controlling 75% of its economy with only its enterprises.
Pakistan’s citizens fear the Inter-Services Intelligence and its goons more than they fear terrorists in their country. The Pakistan intelligence service’s global reach is also influential in that they can even control the rulership in Afghanistan. Consider that the Intelligence of Pakistan can deploy a troop of armies to Afghanistan and help the Taliban government is one factor that shows the power that Pakistan’s intelligence has over some few nations.