Pakistan daily wants ISI reined in

March 20th, 2012 - 12:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Nawaz Sharif Islamabad, March 20 (IANS) Pakistan needs to ensure that the dreaded Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is “reined in”, said a daily Tuesday.

An editorial in the Daily Times said the intelligence agency’s controversial role in the country’s affairs received attention from diverse sources Sunday.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said in Lahore that the ISI was an important national institution but should not be controversial.

On the possible closure of the political wing of the ISI, “considered the part of the agency most involved with interference in the politics of the country”, Gilani said he had not yet had time to speak to the new ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam.

The daily said: “We would urge the prime minister to do just that at the first opportunity, since it is obvious that the powerful agency needs to be taken on board if the objective of regulating its activities is to be achieved.”

In London, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif expressed the hope that army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani would ensure that the new ISI chief refrains from meddling in the country’s affairs to ‘engineer’ the political course.

The editorial went on to say that “while the need for legislation and setting out of the rules governing the role of the intelligence agencies is undeniable, perhaps some institutional arrangements are also the need of the hour”.

“In developed democracies, the intelligence agencies are controlled through parliamentary oversight. Something similar needs to be created here to ensure the dreaded ‘deep state’ is reined in from violating its appropriate purview,” it added.

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