Recently there came a violent hurricane of blames and allegations against the ISI in the western media. So many western newsmen at once started targeting the ISI, blaming it for its so-called relations with the Taliban. The origin of all this propaganda war was a report prepared by Matt Waldman of the London School of Economics commonly known as LSE. According to the report, the ISI actively provides the Taliban with services such as funding, weapons, and the training of troops. The report says numerous ISI officials are part of the Taliban’s council of war.
In Pakistan, this report is being taken as a childish, immature and non-sense piece of work. Even a man without brain can feel the stupidity oozing out of this report. It is something very strange that the ISI is funding and supporting those who are continuously targeting the ISI itself. The ‘philosophers’ yawning there at the London School of Economics have forgotten the suicidal attacks on the GHQ taking lives of so many precious army officers and civilians. They have slipped out of their mind the memories of suicidal attacks on the ISI buildings in Lahore, Peshawar, Multan and Rawalpindi. If the ISI is supporting, funding and training the Taliban, the Taliban must not have targeted all these ISI offices. Not only these mentioned offices but also so many other ISI officials had been targeted in the last few years. Just go through the previous newspapers dumped up somewhere in the libraries of the London School of Economics, you would find the details of the attack on a school-bus which was carrying the children of the ISI officers in Islamabad. Really a ridiculous piece of research that the ISI is training, funding and supporting the Taliban so that they maybe able to slaughter the children of the ISI employees and deprive them of their families. It seems absolutely out of sense and absurd that an intelligence agency is breeding a group of miscreants who’s first and the foremost target is the agency itself.
Major-General Athar Abbas, Pakistan’s military spokesman, predictably described the claim as ridiculous and allegations baseless. The report published by the London School of Economics provides us with two dimensions, two altogether different and distinct propositions; either the Talibans have no affinity with the ISI or the miscreants involved in the acts of terrorism do not belong to the Taliban; they are someone else disguised and masked in a veil labeled as Taliban. Linking ISI with the Taliban is nothing but a very organized type of media war. Various newspapers from India, America and England at once started blaming the ISI in a much mechanized manner. The New York Times published an article of Carlotta Gall on June 13, 2010 with the title ‘Pakistan Intelligence Agency Exerts Great Sway on Afghan Taliban’. ’The Times of India published an article by Ashis Ray on Jun 14, 2010 with the title ‘7 of Taliban’s top 15 are ISI agents’. Same is the case with so many other newspapers from UK, US and India including the UK’s Sunday Times and India’s Hindustan Times. All these papers are narrating the same concocted story. After going through all these articles and the report from the London School of Economics one feels that the same artist is painting the same picture at different places with different names. The only aim behind this entire struggle is to defame ISI which is no doubt the most sacred organization with reference to the security and stability of Pakistan.
It is a daylight fact that the Indian presence in Afghanistan would create a lot of problems for Pakistan particularly when the American forces leave the land. The native Afghans, who are no doubt very much fundamentalists in their approach towards the religion, would never be willing to embrace the Idol worshippers as their new masters. That would be the beginning of a never ending conflict between the Taliban and the Indians leading to a severe threat to the regional peace. Pakistan can never afford such hazardous and perilous situation in its neighboring country. People living along the both sides of the Pak-Afghan borders have very close blood relations; if there is a warlike scenario in Afghanistan, it would certainly affect the other side of the border. That is the reason that Pakistan has always desired and struggled for a longstanding peace in Afghanistan. The report of the London School of Economics contains only one truth that as an ‘official policy matter’ Pakistan’ tries to curtail and put a hard check on the growing influence of India in Afghanistan. Pakistan has its own reservations regarding the increasing influence of India in Afghanistan. Since the very first day of the NATO forces in Afghanistan, Pakistan is of the opinion that the situation would never be bettered if India is given a free hand in Afghanistan but it does not mean that Pakistan starts funding , supporting and training those who have become a threat to its own existence and stability. Such reports as recently released by the London School of Economics would do nothing but create an air of disbelief and distrust between Pakistan and the USA. Talibanisation is good neither for Afghanistan nor for Pakistan and if it started spreading across the borders, it would certainly be the ever worst challenge to the existence of India. The role played by the ISI and the Armed Forces of Pakistan in the war against terror is always praised and applauded by the western countries in all their official communications. If USA is serious in its war against terror it must put a check upon those who are trying to malign the situation for their own petty interests. The people like Matt Waldman must be referred to some psychiatrist for the cleaning up of the rubbish ideas heaped up in their narrow and tiny brains.
The writer is a Pakistan based analyst on defense and strategic affairs.