Who’ll Do It In ISI’s Case?

The U.S. President visited CIA headquarters and praised the agency
despite its history of supporting proxy militias worldwide and its
role in official torture of detainees. The U.S. President did this to
underscore the crucial role of the agency in protecting America's
national security. In Pakistan, the ISI faces a dirty attack by CIA
cohorts in the mainstream American media. But no one in Islamabad
steps up to defend the national intelligence agencies. If anything, we
have ambassadors in the Pakistan Foreign Office who think they
represent Washington or London and who have been seen criticizing
Pakistani spy organizations in important capitals [The Editor-

Makhdoom Babar
Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Mail.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan-THE US President Barack Obama, while visiting the
CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, made a comprehensive speech the
other day. In his speech, while addressing the personnel of the CIA,
the US President appreciated their professionalism and working
abilities. The US President further encouraged the CIA staff by giving
them assurances that he will not only do everything to strengthen them
but would also defend the Agency at every level and forum and against
every criticism.

Such moves are very vital and of a very high importance to boost the
morale of an intelligence agency, particularly, when it is engaged in
a state of war. The wise leaders miss no opportunity to encourage and
strengthen the secret agencies of their countries as they firmly
believe that their top intelligence agencies are guarantors of the
security and solidarity of their countries and thus it becomes
necessary for the national leaders not only to make all out efforts to
strengthen and encourage their intelligence organizations and their
officials but also to defend them, especially in the face of
unwarranted and malicious attacks launched by foreign powers with
their own agendas.

Unfortunately, the opposite is happening in Pakistan. Apart from the
tenure of former President Musharraf, no leader, during the last 15 to
20 years, has even attempted to do for country's first defense line,
the ISI, what leaders like Obama have been doing for years and years.
To the contrary, many of our politicians/leaders have seen the ISI as
a threat to their absolute rule during their respective tenures,
perhaps because they always thought this agency was the only
countercheck on their wrongdoings. Instead of strengthening and
defending this top national security organization, these politicians/
leaders opted to weaken and demoralize ISI and its fine officers, men
and women. Sometime a civilian was made the head of this otherwise
military organization, sometimes it was attempted to put it under the
command of Ministry of Interior, sometimes attempts were made to
control the funding of the agency and sometimes its chief was ordered
to go and give explanation to the traditional enemy, India.

The Daily Mail asks: Can any sane leadership in any other country take
such highly insane steps and that too against a national organization
considered to be the first line of defense of the country? The Daily
Mail argues whether any national leader contemplate such steps?

The Daily Mail here would like to urge upon the national leaders, both
in government and opposition, that they should under the given
circumstance come forward clearly and try to strengthen and defend
this vital security agency with full trust, confidence and clear
intentions. Instead of issuing textbook media statement in support of
ISI, they must come up with clear heads and words. It is their
responsibility to confront all the media and official criticism on ISI
from the West and India and rather not to join them in the chorus. It
is their primary responsibility to highlight the achievements of the
ISI in anti-terror war, it is their basic obligation that they should
underline the sacrifices that this agency's personnel have made to
ensure global and regional peace and it is their duty to seek respect
and trust for this agency that, under the day, has emerged as the
entire world's first defense line.

Our leaders should keep in mind one factor very clearly that if they
need to strengthen their democratic institution, they first need to
strengthen the national institutions because if the national
institutions are not strong, it is a clear indication that country's
solidarity is at stake and if the country's solidarity is at stake,
what talk of democracy and democratic institutions.

These leaders must remember that starting from CIA's failures in
Vietnam through the worst intelligence debacles of missing the Indian
nuclear tests the and movement of Russian troops into Afghanistan, no
US leader has ever gone against the CIA and instead they have always
been defending their top national security agency with full heart and
maximum force at every level and against every criticism.

The Daily Mail is the only Pakistani daily newspaper that publishes
two editions simultaneously from Beijingand Islamabad. Mr. Babar can
be reached at macbaburAThotmail.com

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