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Abu Zarrar

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• ISI chief to head new organisation
• Absence of such a committee was seen as a hurdle to collective strategising


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the setting up of the National Intelligence Coordination Committee (NICC), a senior security source said on Monday.


The new body would be led by the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who would function as its chairman.


The intelligence agencies have had at least two rounds of discussions on the issue after which the proposal was submitted to the prime minister for approval. It is expected that the first meeting of the coordination body could be held as early as next week.


“Although there have been discussions about the establishment of the coordination forum, its terms of reference and modus operandi would be decided once it formally takes shape,” the source said, while speaking on the background.


The NICC would serve as a mechanism to coordinate the over two dozen intelligence organisations in the country. National Counter Terrorism Authority would also be part of the new structure.


The move is part of the long-awaited reform of the intelligence apparatus, which aims at clarifying the role of respective agencies, improving their coordination, and optimising their capabilities.


One of the lessons learnt by the country during the fight against terrorism was that effective intel coordination was the weakest link in the entire effort. It importantly resulted in loss of critical time and in some cases, the agencies even could not piece together the information available to them. It was, moreover, a major hurdle to collective strategising.


A leaked version of the Abbottabad Commission’s report had revealed that the commission, while noting the absence of civil-military intelligence coordination mechanism, too had proposed establishment of an agency on the lines of the US Department of Homeland Security to synergise the working of main spy agencies in the country.


Abbottabad Commission was set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden in a US raid on a compound in Abbottabad in 2011. Although, the report has not been officially declassified, it reportedly made 32 wide-ranging recommendations to address the issues identified during the course of its investigation on the basis of testimonies by key civilian and military functionaries; intel coordination was one of them.


There have in the past been multiple attempts at developing this coordination, but little progress could be made because of differences over the leadership of the new body, which has now been settled.


On July 26, 2008, the then Peoples Party government even notified the placement of ISI and IB under the “administrative, financial, and operational control” of the Interior Ministry. But, the decision was reversed within 24 hours due to strong reservations of one of the organisations.


Similar efforts were made during the PML-N government, when Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan headed the interior ministry.


Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2020

Source:https://www.dawn.com/news/1592030/pm-okays-creation-of-liaison-body-for-spy-agencies

@Horus @The Eagle @Foxtrot Alpha @Zarvan @Path-Finder
 
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Horus

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More Structural reforms are needed in the national security system.

FIA Reforms.
  • IB, SB, NACTA, CTD, ANF, and other civilian intelligence services, etc should be merged into FIA as independent wings to create an empowered organization like the FBI, FSB, or MI-5.

  • SWAT Units raised under FIA CTW in all high-risk districts, further supported by SOF units of PM forces in the desired areas.

  • FIA Detachments deployed in every single district and will be the primary operator against terrorism-related cases.

  • FIA should be tasked with taking full burden of domestic security including taking legal custody of suspects from sister agencies.

  • PSP officers will not be posted to FIA on jobs, FIA's own career officers cadre will form the core and command of the organization, who are selected through a transparent and competitive exam system.

  • FIA Chief will directly report to the Prime Minister.

  • FIA will be under stringent oversight of the Govt and Senate committees.
The ISI.
  • The ISI should have effective control over the MI, AI, NI, and other Military Intelligence outfits.

  • The primary mandate of the ISI should be to perform 'foreign' missions, special operations, and other high tiers of strategic defense.
 

Bouncer

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FIA should be tasked with taking full burden of domestic security including taking legal custody of suspects from sister agencies.
Capacity building in FIA, cleaning it up etc are smaller challenges. Getting the ISI to agree to let go of domestic security is a much bigger challenge.
 

Horus

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ISI should continue to execute its domestic security operations, however in close coordination with FIA. The overlap of domestic security will help greatly.

Capacity building in FIA, cleaning it up etc are smaller challenges. Getting the ISI to agree to let go of domestic security is a much bigger challenge.
 

The Eagle

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More Structural reforms are needed in the national security system.

FIA Reforms.
  • IB, SB, NACTA, CTD, ANF, and other civilian intelligence services, etc should be merged into FIA as independent wings to create an empowered organization like the FBI, FSB, or MI-5.

  • SWAT Units raised under FIA CTW in all high-risk districts, further supported by SOF units of PM forces in the desired areas.

  • FIA Detachments deployed in every single district and will be the primary operator against terrorism-related cases.

  • FIA should be tasked with taking full burden of domestic security including taking legal custody of suspects from sister agencies.

  • PSP officers will not be posted to FIA on jobs, FIA's own career officers cadre will form the core and command of the organization, who are selected through a transparent and competitive exam system.

  • FIA Chief will directly report to the Prime Minister.

  • FIA will be under stringent oversight of the Govt and Senate committees.
The ISI.
  • The ISI should have effective control over the MI, AI, NI, and other Military Intelligence outfits.

  • The primary mandate of the ISI should be to perform 'foreign' missions, special operations, and other high tiers of strategic defense.
A lot of reforms are need of time for FIA. Currently, FIA is acting like nothing more than immigration & cyber crime wing and that's it. PSP officers from Police Department are especially either posted or they bribe the echelons to be posted for their own set of personal gains & interests. Previously the likes of Rehman Malik/Zardari have exploited the secrete door of deputation from Police Department for the interest of PPPP itself and that's it. FIA has to transformed to be at par such as FBI to say the least.

Agreed that direct recruitment in transparent/independent way are the solutions only for competent yet free of political influence FIA. Unfortunately, the most corrupt & incompetent lot has been ruling the country as legislators and they have created a complex web of law/rules which in the end serves none but these politicos directly in individual capacity. A deliberate exploitation is done in the name of legislation/rules/Standing Orders etc so that all the offices as such runs free of any supervision and separately with their egos except to report to the most corrupt politician.
 

313ghazi

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I can't believe we have so many security agencies and there is no formal structure for coordination between them. WTF was our WoT strategy other than to throw soldiers, FC, Rangers and police officers at the waves of suicide bombers?!
 

R Wing

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More Structural reforms are needed in the national security system.

FIA Reforms.
  • IB, SB, NACTA, CTD, ANF, and other civilian intelligence services, etc should be merged into FIA as independent wings to create an empowered organization like the FBI, FSB, or MI-5.

  • SWAT Units raised under FIA CTW in all high-risk districts, further supported by SOF units of PM forces in the desired areas.

  • FIA Detachments deployed in every single district and will be the primary operator against terrorism-related cases.

  • FIA should be tasked with taking full burden of domestic security including taking legal custody of suspects from sister agencies.

  • PSP officers will not be posted to FIA on jobs, FIA's own career officers cadre will form the core and command of the organization, who are selected through a transparent and competitive exam system.

  • FIA Chief will directly report to the Prime Minister.

  • FIA will be under stringent oversight of the Govt and Senate committees.
The ISI.
  • The ISI should have effective control over the MI, AI, NI, and other Military Intelligence outfits.

  • The primary mandate of the ISI should be to perform 'foreign' missions, special operations, and other high tiers of strategic defense.
The whole point of a governing/coordinating body like the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) in the US is that it has its own independent leadership/chairman/director, staff and exec. committee/board so, especially in a place like Pakistan, no agency feels discriminated against and --- crucially --- so the coordinating committee can actually coordinate without being itself involved in the management of any of the constituent agencies.

Placing the DG I in control of this committee makes absolutely no sense, regardless of how good he may be at his current job. It's not like the CIA Director (DCI) can also serve as the Director of National Intelligence in the US (to which it is subordinate.)
 

Xestan

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I think this is a very disastrous step.

The intention might be good here but I think Prime Minister is very ill-informed about the turf war between different agencies. ISI chief, a Lt. General is being given control of all the Intelligence agencies working in the county.

MI protects its space as IB does, and both have known to have a problem with interference from ISI. In fact, IB is the only civilian agency in this country which keeps some kind of check on ISI's internal meddling.

What we needed was a Joint Intelligence Directorate with a civilian head, and more civilian inclusion in the ISI, and the PM office has effectively given DG ISI powers over all others, not just the Military but civilian intelligence apparatus too.

I hope sense prevails and this is reversed.
 

R Wing

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A lot of reforms are need of time for FIA. Currently, FIA is acting like nothing more than immigration & cyber crime wing and that's it. PSP officers from Police Department are especially either posted or they bribe the echelons to be posted for their own set of personal gains & interests. Previously the likes of Rehman Malik/Zardari have exploited the secrete door of deputation from Police Department for the interest of PPPP itself and that's it. FIA has to transformed to be at par such as FBI to say the least.

Agreed that direct recruitment in transparent/independent way are the solutions only for competent yet free of political influence FIA. Unfortunately, the most corrupt & incompetent lot has been ruling the country as legislators and they have created a complex web of law/rules which in the end serves none but these politicos directly in individual capacity. A deliberate exploitation is done in the name of legislation/rules/Standing Orders etc so that all the offices as such runs free of any supervision and separately with their egos except to report to the most corrupt politician.
No reforms, including the FIA, can be seen in isolation.

What we need is to firstly adopt the Russian, American, Israeli, British and, heck, Indian model of lead internal and external agencies.

The MI should focus solely on the military (our own and those around us), similar to the DIA in the US or AMAN in Israel. It is currently also indulging in CT and other random things domestically, for which there are already 2-3 separate capable bodies (ISI CT Wing, Police CTD, etc.)

As HORUS pointed out, all internal intel, CT, serious crimes, etc., duties (FIA, IB, NACTA, etc.) should fall under a new organization modeled on the FBI, Shinbet, MI5, FSB, etc.

The ISI's external-focused wings should be spun-off into a military-led foreign covert action organization with heavy and equal civilian participation.

The key to the success of either organizations is the people. Only when we adopt the recruiting mechanisms of other top intel agencies (best graduates, tech experts, etc.) can we hope to compete.
 

Salza

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I think this is a very disastrous step.

The intention might be good here but I think Prime Minister is very ill-informed about the turf war between different agencies. ISI chief, a Lt. General is being given control of all the Intelligence agencies working in the county.

MI protects its space as IB does, and both have known to have a problem with interference from ISI. In fact, IB is the only civilian agency in this country which keeps some kind of check on ISI's internal meddling.

What we needed was a Joint Intelligence Directorate with a civilian head, and more civilian inclusion in the ISI, and the PM office has effectively given DG ISI powers over all others, not just the Military but civilian intelligence apparatus too.

I hope sense prevails and this is reversed.
Bhai gee, IK is only doing it on the behest of ISI only. This should had been done long time back.
 

R Wing

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I think this is a very disastrous step.

The intention might be good here but I think Prime Minister is very ill-informed about the turf war between different agencies. ISI chief, a Lt. General is being given control of all the Intelligence agencies working in the county.

MI protects its space as IB does, and both have known to have a problem with interference from ISI. In fact, IB is the only civilian agency in this country which keeps some kind of check on ISI's internal meddling.

What we needed was a Joint Intelligence Directorate with a civilian head, and more civilian inclusion in the ISI, and the PM office has effectively given DG ISI powers over all others, not just the Military but civilian intelligence apparatus too.

I hope sense prevails and this is reversed.
Lt Gen or not --- how can the head of one of the organizations that the coordination committee is supposed to coordinate also be the head of the committee itself?!
 

fitpOsitive

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View attachment 690628

• ISI chief to head new organisation
• Absence of such a committee was seen as a hurdle to collective strategising


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the setting up of the National Intelligence Coordination Committee (NICC), a senior security source said on Monday.


The new body would be led by the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who would function as its chairman.


The intelligence agencies have had at least two rounds of discussions on the issue after which the proposal was submitted to the prime minister for approval. It is expected that the first meeting of the coordination body could be held as early as next week.


“Although there have been discussions about the establishment of the coordination forum, its terms of reference and modus operandi would be decided once it formally takes shape,” the source said, while speaking on the background.


The NICC would serve as a mechanism to coordinate the over two dozen intelligence organisations in the country. National Counter Terrorism Authority would also be part of the new structure.


The move is part of the long-awaited reform of the intelligence apparatus, which aims at clarifying the role of respective agencies, improving their coordination, and optimising their capabilities.


One of the lessons learnt by the country during the fight against terrorism was that effective intel coordination was the weakest link in the entire effort. It importantly resulted in loss of critical time and in some cases, the agencies even could not piece together the information available to them. It was, moreover, a major hurdle to collective strategising.


A leaked version of the Abbottabad Commission’s report had revealed that the commission, while noting the absence of civil-military intelligence coordination mechanism, too had proposed establishment of an agency on the lines of the US Department of Homeland Security to synergise the working of main spy agencies in the country.


Abbottabad Commission was set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden in a US raid on a compound in Abbottabad in 2011. Although, the report has not been officially declassified, it reportedly made 32 wide-ranging recommendations to address the issues identified during the course of its investigation on the basis of testimonies by key civilian and military functionaries; intel coordination was one of them.


There have in the past been multiple attempts at developing this coordination, but little progress could be made because of differences over the leadership of the new body, which has now been settled.


On July 26, 2008, the then Peoples Party government even notified the placement of ISI and IB under the “administrative, financial, and operational control” of the Interior Ministry. But, the decision was reversed within 24 hours due to strong reservations of one of the organisations.


Similar efforts were made during the PML-N government, when Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan headed the interior ministry.


Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2020

Source:https://www.dawn.com/news/1592030/pm-okays-creation-of-liaison-body-for-spy-agencies

@Horus @The Eagle @Foxtrot Alpha @Zarvan @Path-Finder
FIA should lead it, why ISI?
 

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