Pakistan's ISI: 'A Kingdom Within a Kingdom'?

Pakistan is one of the indispensable allies of the United States in the war on terror, especially in the current struggle against Taliban and other extremist movements in Central Asia. But the American relationship with Pakistan has remained precarious, partly because of the shadowy activities of Pakistan's main intelligence service the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI). According to Sean Winchell, until the Pakistani general and the President Pervez Musharraf took the organization under control, "the ISI has been a 'kingdom within a kingdom,' answerable to neither the army nor Pakistan's President."

But the ISI always remained closer to -- and more dependant -- on the Army than on the civilian government. Pakistani leaders with close military ties have greatly increased the ISI mandate, increasing its power and influence within and outside Pakistan. Taking control of the ISI activities therefore will remain a great challenge for...
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