Inter-Services Intelligence Essay

Inter-Services Intelligence Essay

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The Inter-services Intelligence is the Intelligence Agency set up in Pakistan in 1948 after the failure of its military intelligence. The agency was set up and structured by Major General R. Cawthorne, who was a remnant of British rule over the sub-continental region before Pakistan gained independence from the British in 1947. This organization still exists and consists of a full clandestine, intelligence, counter-intelligence and technical departments. The main objective for the organization in essence was to manage Pakistan’s foreign and domestic policy and maintain its best interests. However, we start noticing a consistent change in this organization over the next few decades of its existence as it starts to structure itself almost like an organized crime syndicate. Many say it operates as a state within a state, a group that has its own interests.
Pakistan has had an extremely shaky political history over the past 7 decades. It has gone through 4 Coups. Tariq Ali a prominent British journalist calls it a “constant struggle between military dictators and corrupt elected democracies.” This environment has allowed them unprecedented autonomy to grow in to an organization that has its own agenda. The fact that there is no legal framework to regulate it has bolstered their freedom to operate as an independent organization from the government of Pakistan. In fact they have remained the only constant organization in this ever changing political environment that was involved in orchestrating a lot of these regime changes, thereby maintaining its control over the region. Since many a time its policies do not align with those of elected officials in the government it may be considered an organized crime syndicate in the stricter sens...


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Michael Rubin, “The Afghan Aftermath in the Middle East,” Perceptions: Journal of International Affairs (March-May 2002), available at .
Weaver, 63.
Cooley, 227.
Weaver, 76–77.
ABC Exclusive: Pakistani Bomb Scientist Breaks Silence - http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4964884&page=1
Yunas Samad, “In and Out of Power but Not Down and Out: Mohajir Identity Politics,” in Pakistan: Nationalism Without a Nation? ed. Christophe Jaffrelot (New Delhi: Manohar, 2002), 71.
Noah Feldman, After Jihad: American and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), 127.
Randal, 79.
Kux, 296–297.
Coll, 180.
Coll, 341.
Haqqani, 245.
Weaver, 33.
Mariam Abou Zahab and Olivier Roy, Islamist Networks: The Afghan-Pakistan Connection (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), 54–55.

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