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A Deep State: ISI’s Omnipresence And Shadow Control In Pakistan

Pakistan’ Intelligence Agency Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI) probably an Intelligence organization in the world that enjoys limitless power or degree in every branch of state machinery i.e Pakistan. Pakistan is currently on the verge of crises and civil war thereats looming all around. In such scenario where Pakistan civilian leadership has failed the millitary is now coming in the prime focus to rescue Pakistan. Therefore an assessment of the deep state of Pakistan deserves merit to be discussed.

The Degree of Power of Intelligence Agency In A State Why Does a state need to establish an Intelligence Agency? The answer is to gather information in advance to eliminate the threat or an attack before it occurs thus, preserving the national security of a state effectively. Only the Military apparatus of the state is not enough to give all-round protection as States do not face threat not only at the borders but from various other domains as well which makes a subject of tackling multiple threats and with only one state apparatus these threats cannot be tackled and hence, Intelligence Agency of a state by giving on time, pieces of information/intel, Threat perceptions, and conducting operations can ensure a blanket from multiple threats(both conventional and unconventional). Every Intelligence Agency of a state does enjoy some degree of power to execute their duties but not a limitless hand of power. There are two domains in which a State Needs to be protected one from external threats and the other is internal threats for which the state establishes various Intelligence Agencies to look after external threats and internal threats there is always a demarcation of charters/ duties among Intelligence agencies that one agency will look after domestic security and one will look after the external security of the country. This division of power and sense accountability in the intelligence domain ensures effective working of intelligence agency and also ensures that no agency is indulging in abuse of power however this is not the case with Pakistan’s ISI.

The Omnipresence of ISI When We Closely pay attention to the working of ISI we will see that there is no other prime intelligence agency other than ISI in Pakistan. ISI is responsible for both external and internal security and hence getting a wide range of area to exercise its power both inside and outside the state which essentially gives to rise a sense of centralization of power to one authority and once a state’s authority or agency start to enjoy wide powers without any limiting hand over it then the chances of that agency or authority being omnipresent in the state affairs will increase and might try to override political leadership decisions and exercise considerable amount of influence for their benefits. The same notion of omnipresence applies in Pakistan. ISI as an omnipresent agency in Pakistan is a classic one as since decades ISI had a major role to play in Pakistan politics, a major chunk of politics in Pakistan was governed by military rulers and one such ruler Zia-Ul Haq had extensively contributed to strengthening the ISI’s grip on Pakistan’s Politics by suppressing the PPP(Political Party in Pakistan) and Benazir Bhutto(former PM of Pakistan) Zia Ul Haq made ISI his yardstick to fulfil his political interest to remain in power and neutralize those who seek power in Pakistan Politics and to continue this power venture Zia using ISI established a IJI Political Party consisting of opposition to defeat the PPP in Pakistan.

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