Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Restructuring of Pakistan's ISI

Govt decides to restructure ISI
The News, August 12, 2009
By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to restructure the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to make it more efficient and vibrant.

The effort that is already underway would bring energetic and more dedicated personnel into the fold of the agency who could live up to the challenges of the modern age. As part of the endeavour 32 officers of brigadier and colonel ranks have been retired from the ISI and it is expected that other officers who have not proved their utility would be shown the door further down the line in the months to come. The outfit is also being trimmed in the manner the Army was restructured three years ago without compromising its skill to defend the motherland.

Well placed sources in the Ministry of Defence told The News that the ISI was expanded in recent years out of proportion, especially the officers who on the verge of superannuation joined the agency and subsequently secured agreement to continue with it. The practice expanded the agency in terms of number without enhancing its tangible capacity. Keeping in view the situation, various departments of the agency were asked to offer their comments about the working of the officers who had attained the superannuation and were still working with it but without putting in anything useful with regard to the assignments given to them. Such officers were a burden on the organisation and ultimately it was decided that such officers should be asked to relinquish their duties forthwith, the sources added.

The sources revealed that the retrenchment process in the ISI would continue for at least two more years but it would be carried out in an extremely careful manner so that the working of the agency did not suffer in any way. The incumbent leadership of the armed forces and the agency are fully cognizant of the quality of the force and particularly the requirements of the men on sensitive jobs. The officers who have been shown the door were given due esteem on their parting the organization, the sources added.

To a question the sources brushed aside any impression about the involvement of any pressure from any side while dealing with the process of streamlining the working of the agency. “No-one could think in terms of exerting pressure with the incumbent command of the armed forces,” the sources said.

The ISI, Pakistan's notorious and feared spy agency, comes in from the cold - Guardian
Pakistan: How the ISI works - Guardian
Inter-Services Intelligence - New York Times

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