Established in the wake of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-8 by the Australian army officer Major-General Walter Cawthorne, then Deputy Chief of Staff in the Pakistan Army, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for years remained an under-developed and obscure agency. In 1979, the organisation's growing importance was felt during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, as it worked hand in glove with the CIA to support the mujahideen resistance, but its activities received little coverage in news media. Since that time, the ISI has projected its influence across the region in 1988 its involvement in Indian Kashmir came under increasing scrutiny, and by 1995 its mentoring of what became the Afghan Taliban was well attested. But it was the organisation's alleged links with Al Qaeda and the discovery of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, at the heart of Pakistan's military zone, that really threw it under the spotlight. These controversies and many more have dogged the ISI, including its role in Pakistan's testing of a nuclear weapon in 1998 and its links with A.Q. Khan. Offering fresh insights into the ISI as a domestic and international actor based on intimate knowledge of its inner workings and key individuals, this startlingly original book uncovers the hitherto shady world of Pakistan's secret service.
About the Author
Dr Hein G. Kiessling is a political scientist and historian (PhD, Ludwig Maximilian University) who lived from 1989 to 2002 in Pakistan, including four years in Quetta and nine in Islamabad, during which he forged close contacts among Pakistan's political, military and intelligence elites. In 2002 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.