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Pakistani politicians hail disbandment of ISI political wing

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Dec 5, IRNA
Pakistani political leaders on Friday hailed the disbandment of the political wing of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) terming it as a positive step towards strengthening of democracy and the democratic system.

Talking to IRNA, they said that if the published report about the closure of the said wing is correct then the move would have far reaching effects on the country's politics and democratic set-up.

The media has reported that, the premier intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), has decided to disband its so-called political wing that for the last over three decades had been actively involved in monitoring and managing political activities in and outside the government.

Tariq Azeem Khan, Senator of PML-Q, said that every intelligence agency has a role and interest in the politics but it should not be used to manipulate the politicians.

He said that former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had formed the political wing of the ISI but later he had formalized it and used the wing to enhance the politics of his party.

"I am not against the interference of the intelligence agencies in the politics but I am against the active participation of intelligence agencies in the politics," said Tariq Azeem Khan.

He was of the view that the ISI should not be used to spy the politicians and rigging the elections.

However, he said that despite the reports about the closure of the said wing it would not be completely closed as no intelligence agency could keep itself away from politics of the country.

With this decision taken at the top level, and implemented by the newly appointed ISI chief, the agency has dissociated itself from forming or breaking of political parties and alliances.

Media reported that following this decision, the ISI will be no more spying on politicians, and will play no role in maneuvering or manipulating political activities in the country.

Muhammad Hanif Abbasi, MNA of PML-N, when contacted about the existence of the so-called political wing said that surly there was a political wing in the ISI used to spy on the politicians.

He said it was clearly stated in the Charter of Democracy (CoD) that the political wings of all of the intelligence agencies would be disbanded.

He added that the wing was bound to be closed, as the politicians are the representatives of the public and they should not be spied by any inelegance agency.

Hanif opined that the government needs to take appropriate measures to close down the political wings of all intelligence agencies.

Several former ISI officials who served in the agency during the regime of former President Pervez Musharraf have recently admitted in media interviews that the organisation played a key role in rigging elections in recent years.


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