Saturday, September 20, 2008

USA-ISI relationship and International media

It is my idea that International media has begun a concentrated effort to belittle Pakistan's premier Intelligence Agency, ISI and its uniformed men. It is very clear from reports emanating from abroad and even local newspapers that USA and India are really concerned about the absolute power of ISI in the country. It is believed by almost everyone including artists, commentators, ambassadors and blog writers that ISI is the last standing force between total annihilation of the country by USA and its military / political setup.

I am no fan of ISI for it is blamed for every disappearance in the country. No other intelligence agency gets so much media attention as does ISI. RAW, CIA and FBI must be very jealous. But ISI has a duty towards this country and its people. Therefore, any agency, whether military or civilian, is a danger to USA geopolitics in our troubled region if it works for its own people. (USA supports only those groups and / or agencies which are most hated by local population).

Now, USA problem.

Recently, as USA intensifies its attacks on Pakistani soil it wants to clear things up. By which it means that it wants a thoroughly rigged ISI, an agency which is good for nothing and which toes the line of American way of Life (sic). And to do that Zardari must be showed the way. A recent try was made to bring ISI under civilian control. Within hours decision was reverted. Had it not been, an imminent coup could have taken place isolating Pakistan further in International community. And USA was embarrassed to such an extent that it regularly sends its men with arms with thick reports 'proving' that ISI is in fact behind every problem in Afghanistan.

It means two things to me. One, that USA now wants to open a clear front of war in FATA region of Pakistan. That has to be done to please American voters and show them some progress in war on terror (sic). It is very clear to all of us that Americans have badly failed in Afghanistan. Locals want them out and even NATO is embarrassed by its recent unilateral attacks inside Pakistan. Therefore, killing innocent men and women and kids inside Pakistan and labelling them hardcore terrorists is the only option. With ISI monitoring every American move, that looks not only inefficient but out of sync.

Secondly, I think that Americans want to declare Pakistani nukes unsafe and get the blame on ISI. This will allow them good enough reason to force Pakistan to dismantle this agency. Once that is announced (dismantling) chaos will ensue. Many of ISI men with 20-year old links within Mujahedeen, will spread among their former comrades and launch attacks against Americans and NATO forces openly. This will be the final reason for Americans to invade the entire FATA region including probably Baluchistan and parts of Pakistani side of Kashmir. Rest, as they say, would resemble much of what Afghanistan is today.

This is a standard practice of Americans. They first mark the agency which is a potential threat to their global aims. Then they set out their paid editors / writers across the globe and print articles which are biased. A global advertisement movement is launched to destabilize that organization and to belittle it in front of their own countrymen. Same technique seems to be underway for ISI.

I will blame ISI for their bad market reputation.

Firstly, on the instructions of Musharraf, ISI gathered and sold hundreds of Pakistanis to Americans. They earned billions, as Musharraf himself claimed in the first edition of his autobiography. Secondly, many Baluch and Sindhi nationalists were rounded and put behind bars. Some of them are still lying and their near ones have no clue about them. This case of disappearance of hundreds of ordinary Pakistanis was a major reason why CJ Iftikhar was removed from his post by Musharraf.

Thirdly, ISI has been responsible for helping out Mujaheddin in Indian occupied Kashmir. When Musharraf suddenly ordered his troops to shut down LOC for any traffic these fighters were left with no job. So they turned nasty inside the country. First they targeted Shia men of status and then they turned towards anyone who was engaging with western lifestyle (restaurants, hotels, games, etc.). In a later and a more devastating stage, these holy fighters (sic) turned their rage towards Pakistan Army (Lal Masjid was the key moment). And since then we've seen hundreds of men and women blown up to pieces in horrible suicide bombings. High security zones like FIA Center in Lahore and Wah Ordinance Factory were mercilessly targeted. Surely, USA was (and is) enjoying the turn of events.

Now, as Americans intensify their targeting of ISI more and more capable men are leaving the agency. When Musharraf came on the scene some senior men were either asked to vacate ISI (from orders of USA / Pentagon Think Tank) or were kicked out. That policy was not feasible for men belonging to second tier of ISI. This is because you don't know internally who supports Mujaheddin so how would you decide whom to kick out. In case of top tier men, Musharraf knew exactly who was with Mujaheddin all these years (commencing during Zia time) so he was able to retire those men and bring along his friends to the post (one good reason why some army personal wanted to blow him up while he was travelling in Rawalpindi).

It appears that only using negative propaganda against ISI won't work. So probably next step which Americans are likely to take is that they will step up their efforts and infiltrate ISI ranks using millions of dollars. Maybe ISI will survive this latest onslaught. That all depends on how Mr. Kiyani, Army Chief, holds his men.

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