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After Pakistan’s independence in 1947 two new intelligence agencies were created in Pakistan: the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Military Intelligence (MI). However, the weak performance of the Military Intelligence in sharing intelligence between the Army, Naval and Air Force during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 led to the creation of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1948.The ISI was structured to be manned by officers from the three main military services, and to specialize in the collection, analysis and assessment of external intelligence, either military or non-military. The ISI was the brainchild of Australian-born British Army officer, Major General Robert Cawthome, then Deputy Chief of Staff in the Pakistan Army.
After General Zia ul-Haq came into power in July 1977, the scope of ISI was more expanded by making it responsible for the collection of intelligence about all the Anti-Pakistani separatist parties specially those who were struggling for the division and separate land and which were provoked by the neighboring enemies. The Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s saw the enhancement of the covert action capabilities of the ISI with the support of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). A special Afghan Section was created to oversee the coordination of the war. A number of officers from the ISI’s Covert Action Division were specially trained by the Pakistani Army and ISI to guide it in its operations against the Soviet troops by using the Afghan Mujahedeen. From 1983 to 1997, the ISI reportedly trained over 80,000 Afghan Mujahedeen for campaigns in Afghanistan Jihad. During the 1990s, the ISI grew into a more powerful and questionable organization.
ISI’s headquarters are located in Islamabad and currently the head of the ISI is called the Director General who has to be a serving Lieutenant General in the Pakistan Army. Under the Director General, three Deputy Director Generals report directly to him and are in charge in three separate fields of the ISI which are Internal wing – dealing with counter-intelligence and political issues inside Pakistan, External wing – handling external issues, and Analysis and Foreign Relations wing.