The good, the bad and the ugly

Southasia - - EDITORS MAIL -

With the role of our in­tel­li­gence agen­cies in the spot­light af­ter the at­tack on Hamid Mir, and the en­su­ing bat­tle between me­dia houses, there couldn’t have been a more ap­pro­pri­ate time for SouthAsia to run a cover story on the ISI, Pak­istan’s pre­mier in­tel­li­gence out­fit. While it is true that the ISI has at­tracted heavy crit­i­cism from a num­ber of an­a­lysts, it is also true that the agency has given its crit­ics many rea­sons to crit­i­cize it. Its role in the Afghan ji­had, for one, was most un­for­tu­nate. It may like to claim that the cre­ation of the Tal­iban was in Pak­istan’s in­ter­est at that time but ev­ery­one has seen how dis­as­trous this move has proved for us. At the same time, no one can deny the agency’s ser­vices for the coun­try. It gath­ers timely in­tel­li­gence through its hun­dreds of op­er­a­tives across the coun­try which helps in prevent­ing many acts of ter­ror­ism.

I no­ticed that al­most all the writ­ers, the ma­jor­ity of whom were re­tired armed forces per­son­nel, re­it­er­ated the need for mak­ing the in­tel­li­gence agency more ac­count­able and its func­tion­ing more trans­par­ent. This is a wise de­mand, in­deed. The agency should be an­swer­able to some au­thor­ity. This sin­gle step will go a long way in in­creas­ing its cred­i­bil­ity and trust­wor­thi­ness among the masses.

Saa­dia Baig

Karachi, Pak­istan

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