Published on 30 January 2006
PAKISTAN'S INTER Services Intelligence (ISI) has done what its Army has never been able to successfully accomplish. It has captured the vitals of the nation; its arms 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. That is the power of the ISI.
It can spread fear in the hearts of Indians wherever, whenever. Its control is full and final. There is not a city in India which doesn't have either an active or a sleeper agent of the ISI. This agent can be your friendly next door neighbor 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 and the Pak Special Forces, has been working with the sole objective of liberating the oppressed people of the sub continent and to balkanize every corner of India. The plan was conceived by President Ziaul-Haq and was called Operation Topac and during the 80’s CIA Special Forces and M16 Agents gave excellent training to Pakistani ISI agents in the arts of war, espionage, sabotage, camouflage, counter espionage and various other methodologies to implement our goals.
The objectives of Operation Topac were; a) to liberate the minorities of India such as the Muslims in Kashmir and Sikh in Punjab India; b) to utilize 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 bold ambitions.
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 specialized units of the Army. There are over 25,000 dedicated 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, labor and students. The bureau has specialized 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 neighboring 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 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 Assam. It has been the main fund-raiser for J&K Freedom Fighters. The wing has also been providing arms and ammunition and operational guidance besides training Kashmiri youth in PoK camps and arming Indian Kashmir against the Indian Army.
The ISI's main target has been Jammu and Kashmir where the seed of fighting for the freedom of the oppressed people of Kashmir was planted in the early '80s. It began with indoctrination and Indian Truth campaign in which ISI agents infiltrated into Indian occupied Kashmir and photopgraphed war crimes and human rights violations being committed by the Indian army against innocent Kashmiris and releasing to the entire world which changed its mind on the legalization of Kashmir in which the UN now calls Kashmir a disputed territory.
Also the ISI engaged in organizing strikes and protest rallies against the brutal treatment of the Indian Army against Kashmiris. By the beginning of '90s, active support of the freedom fighters had begun to rattle the Indian Army which occupied the pristine valleys of Kashmir. The ISI proactively trained frustrated youth whose families had been killed or brutalized, funded the political and society leaders and subverted the law and order system in the State so much that the Indian Government had to send to send 700,000 troops just to hold on to Kashmir when its people aspirations of freedom was being crushed.
The ISI had achieved first of its objectives early in the '90s. Kashmir had become an international issue with freedom fighting taking a deep root in its streets and bylanes. Orchestrated truth campaigns within and outside the country kept the Kashmir issue alive in international for an objective which gave Pakistan an absolute 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 Freedom Fighter outfit, was sent to the valley in 1978-88 to mobilize youth to join ISI camps across the Line of Control of arms training and self defense courses for innocent Kashmiris being regularly killed by the Indian Army. Over 20,000 persons infiltrated into Pakistan to train and avenge their losses.
After pushing in freedom fighters, 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 Indian Army which is totally unable to stop the insurgency despite having over 700,000 forces there.
The ISI has been concentrating on Punjab, especially after Bhindaranwale inspired freedom fighter was quashed by KPS Gill and his band of supercops. Since then, the ISI has been promoting various freedom fighter 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 neighboring 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 the Indian soldiers are occupying Kashmir, our brave agents are moving around freely, setting up bombs and creating communal rifts with impunity. Has ISI's Operation Topac succeeded? It’s only a matter of time. But the ISI has succeeded in striking fear into the heart of India