Faith, Unity, Discipline: The ISI of Pakistan by Hein G. Kiessling

The reviewer is a serving officer in the Indian Navy and presently commanding the Naval Flight Test Squadron, INAS 552, at Goa. The views expressed here are his own.
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  • January-March 2018
    Book Review

    The work of intelligence agencies is a grey area and any attempt to ‘lift the veil’ is an uphill task, shrouded in uncertainty and doubt, and suspect as to the authenticity of the information brought out into the open. Notwithstanding this, it has been established beyond doubt that intelligence agencies have a major say in strategic events both at the international and national levels. Given a free hand, they might end up ‘controlling the controllers’. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan has established itself as an effective agency, whose work has a definitive impact on a range of issues spanning regional politics/ international relations, guerilla warfare as well as sub-conventional mechanisms, including the fuelling of uprisings and armed rebellions. The ISI is also involved in trying to counter terrorism within and outside Pakistan. Controlled and headed by the Pakistan Army, it has an important say in most matters pertaining to the country, be they domestic or international.

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