The good, the bad and the ugly
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.