Tuesday, December 27, 2011


PAKISTAN'S Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has
done what its Army can never do. It has captured the vitals of the
nation, its tentacles are spread across every nook and cranny-from
Gujarat to Assam, from Kashmir to Kerala. It can trigger blasts in remote
places, fuel communal riots in peaceful cities and blow up railway
stations anywhere it wishes to. It can spread terror wherever, whenever.
Its control is full and final. There is not a city in the country which
doesn't have either an active or a sleeper agent of the ISI. This agent
can be your friendly next door neighbour or the local tailor or a
businessman. They have been brainwashed or inculcated into the fold by
the ISI either by financial allurement or in the name of religion.
Whatever might be the provocation, the ISI agents are motivated enough to
carry out the orders of their masters in Islamabad.
The ISI has taken more than 28 years to implement its plan of action.
After the 1971 bifurcation of erstwhile Pakistan into two nations, the
ISI, which works under the overall control of the Pak Army, has been
working with the sole objective of avenging the defeat and balkanise
India. The plan was conceived by President Ziaul-Haq and was called
Operation Topac.
The objectives of Operation Topac were; a) to disintegrate India; b) to
utilise the spy network to act as an instrument of sabotage; c) to
exploit porous borders with Nepal and Bangladesh to set up bases and
conduct operations.
A close look at the ISI structure as it exists in Pakistan will reveal
the extent of Islamabad's nefarious designs. The ISI is headquartered in
Islamabad and works under a Director General, a serving Lieutenant
General of the Pakistan Army. There are three Deputy Director
Generals-designated DDG (Political), DDG (External) and DDG (General).
The ISI is staffed mainly by personnel deputed from the police,
para-military forces and some specialised units of the Army. There are
over 25,000 active men on its staff.
The largest wing of the ISI is the Joint Intelligence Bureau; it covers
areas like political parties, anti-terrorism, VIP security, labour and
students. The bureau has specialised sections-one dealing exclusively
with India, another on Communist countries and the third on Africa and
West Asia. This wing is primarily responsible for appointment and posting
of personnel at missions abroad.
The second most important wing is the Joint Signal Intelligence Bureau
which looks after the communication network of the ISI and collects
Intelligence through monitoring of communications channels of
neighbouring countries. A sizeable number of the staff is from the Army
Signal Corps. It has its units in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. It
monitors, clicks photos and intercepts wireless communication. Its main
activity, however, is to keep track of troop movements along the Indian
border. During the 1971 operations, it had over 200 clandestine radio
stations on the war front.
The third significant wing of the ISI is the Joint Counter-Intelligence
Bureau which, as the name suggests, keeps a surveillance on foreign
missions and the ISI personnel. The branch which deals exclusively with
India is the Joint Intelligence North (JIN). Its primary responsibility
is to carry out operations in J&K and Afghanistan. It has been the
main fund-raiser for J&K militants. The wing has also been providing
arms and ammunition and operational guidance besides training Kashmiri
youth in PoK camps.
The ISI's main target has been Jammu and Kashmir where the first seed of
terrorism was planted in the early '80s. It began with indoctrination and
an India-hate propaganda. There were innocuous signs of militancy on the
street walls where the most timid graffiti read: "Indian Dogs Go Back".
These graffiti were soon replaced by street bandhs [strikes] and protest
rallies and by the beginning of '90s, active terrorism had begun to creep
up the pristine valleys of Kashmir. The ISI proactively trained
frustrated youth, bribed and funded the so-called political and society
leaders and subverted the law and order system in the State so much that
the Indian Government had to send in the Army.
The ISI had achieved first of its objectives early in the '90s. Kashmir
had become an international issue with terrorism taking a deep root in
its streets and bylanes. Orchestrated propaganda within and outside the
country kept the Kashmir issue alive in international for an objective
which gave Pakistan a fake legitimacy of being the underdog.
The plan to take over J&K was drafted in the mid-80s. The blueprint
was prepared by the ISI chief in 1984 to aid and abet militancy in
Kashmir. Amanullah Khan, chairman of the J&K Liberation Front, was
consulted, Mohammad Rauf Khan, senior vice-president of the JKLF a
terrorist outfit since banned, was sent to the valley in 1978-88 to
mobilise youth to join ISI camps across the Line of Control of arms
training. Over 20,000 persons infiltrated into Pakistan.
After pushing in militants, initially under the banner of JKLF, ISI
floated several organisations-Hizb-ul-Maujahideen, Hizb-ul-Islam, Allah
Tigers, Al-Umar Mujahideen, Muslim Mujahideen, Harkat Ul Ansar and Jamaat
Hurriyat Conference. Besides funding, the ISI supplied both assault
rifles and other sophisticated arms to the militants which included
Draganov sniper rifles, anti-aircraft missiles and remote explosives. It
also flooded the Valley with Improvised Explosive Devices which, till
this date, continue to take a heavy till on security forces deployed for
counter-insurgency operations.
The ISI has been concentrating on Punjab, especially after Bhindaranwale
inspired terrorism was quashed by KPS Gill and his band of supercops.
Since then, the ISI has been promoting various terrorist groups like the
International Sikh Youth Federation led by Lakhbir Singh Rode, Khalistan
Commando Force, Babbar Khalsa International and Khalistan Liberation
Force of Pritam Singh Sekhon. The ISI has been working in the North-East
and Southern parts of India. Its links with North-East insurgents are
well documented. It has not only been funding some out of the militant
outfits but also been providing them with arms and ammunition and
training facilities in neighbouring Nepal.
The ISI's hand in the Mumbai and Coimbatore blasts has proved that it
has been working quietly in spreading a terror network all over India.
So while our soldier are fighting the enemy. Its agents are moving
around freely, setting up bombs and creating communal rifts with
impunity. Has ISI's Operation Topac succeeded? This is a question which
every citizen of this free democracy should be asking today.

[Description of source: The Pioneer--Independent daily with a reputation for
strong coverage of domestic issues and thoughtful editorial positions;
owned by the Thapar Group]