Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pakistan's ISI, intelligence service has long been accused of sponsoring armed groups and plotting assassinations.

The charge that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence is supporting Taliban fighters in Afghanistan is just the latest of many charges directed at Pakistan's shadowy intelligence service, which for decades has been accused of plotting assassinations, backing armed groups, and organising attacks against neighbouring countries. Western intelligence services have long maintained a complicated relationship with the ISI: They depend on the agency to monitor and arrest senior Taliban and al-Qaeda figures inside Pakistan, while simultaneously accusing it of sponsoring those same groups.
The ISI has also been accused of sponsoring armed groups in Kashmir, and of carrying out a campaign of targeted killings against nationalist leaders in Balochistan, a restive province in southwestern Pakistan. Indian officials, meanwhile, are openly hostile to the agency, accusing it of involvement in a number of deadly attacks, most notably the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

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