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Why did PM Imran choose DG ISI Gen Faiz to head intelligence body?

A new intelligence-sharing and coordinating committee has been set up under the name of National Intelligence Coordination Committee

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According to news reports, the prime minister of Pakistan approved the National Intelligence Coordination Committee (NICC), a new intelligence body, to help streamline the information collected and the decisions made regarding said information.

The new institution is expected to be headed by the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The ISI head will be designated as the chairman of the new body.

Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed HI(M) is a three-star ranking general in the Pakistan Army. He was commissioned in the Baloch regiment and is the 24th Director-General of the spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence.

Gen Faiz was appointed as Adjutant General at the General Headquarters at GHQ in April 2019. Gen Faiz had previously served as head of the counter-intelligence wing in Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)

The first meeting of the new intelligence body to be held within a week

The intelligence agencies have conducted two rounds of talks on the issue before submitting the proposal to the prime minister for approval.

“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 in the background.

The first meeting of the new NICC may be held within a week.

Read more: Cabinet approves the anti-rape bill championed by PM Imran.

There are around two dozen intelligence agencies in the country, and the NICC would serve as a coordinating mechanism for all of them.

National Counter Terrorism Authority would also be part of the new structure.

According to news reports on GeoNews, one of the prime weak links felt during the fight against terrorism was intel coordination. This new institutional body will make information collection and discerning quicker and more coordinated.

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

On July 26, 2008, the then Peoples Party government even notified ISI and IB’s placement 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 organizations.

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

Writing on the developments, Dawn says that the incident resulted from an intelligence failure as per the Abbottabad Commission.

Large scale terrorist attacks a result of intelligence sharing failure

Several large-scale terrorist attacks have also been successfully carried out because of a lack of intelligence integration between different agencies. The new intelligence body hopes to make information discerning more streamlined and coordinated.

It has been reported that several large-scale terror attacks have been results of intelligence coordinating failure.

For example, the storming of Bannu jail by the TTP in April 2012 resulted in 384 prisoners being sprung from prison. With some hard-core terrorists among the freed inmates, the incident marked a significant setback for Pakistan’s war against militancy. There was also the horrific APS Peshawar attack on Dec 16, 2014, also carried out by the TTP, in which nearly 150 people lost their lives.

The Pakistani intelligence community comprises the various intelligence agencies of Pakistan that work internally and externally to manage, research, and collect intelligence necessary for national security.

Consolidated intelligence organizations include the personnel and members of the intelligence agencies, military intelligence, and civilian intelligence and analysis directorates operationalized under the Government of Pakistan’s executive ministries.

Many intelligence services are actively working on varied intelligence programs, including collecting and producing foreign and domestic intelligence, contributing to military planning, and performing espionage.

 However, its best-known intelligence services are the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (Pakistan) (IB), and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

GVS News Desk

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