ISLAMABAD, Nov 26: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has officially announced the winding up of the political wing of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
In a press release issued on Wednesday night, the prime minister confirmed new reports about the disbanding of the wing and hoped that the move would improve ISI’s effectiveness.
A couple of months ago, an abortive attempt had been made to bring the intelligence agency under the control of the interior ministry.
A notification was also issued in this regard, but the decision was held in abeyance for unspecified reasons.
Analysts said the winding up of the agency’s political wing from the ISI hierarchy would have far-reaching effects on national politics.
The ISI has been accused of being actively involved in ‘monitoring and managing’ political activities inside and outside the government and ‘making or breaking’ political parties and alliances for over the past three decades.
It is learnt that the decision would help the ISI tackle more pressing issues like handling crucial aspects of the war against terror.
Although the ‘wing’ was accused of being associated with several controversial activities in the past, including the creation of an anti-Benazir Bhutto alliance called the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) in 1988, more recently questions were raised about the role it played in the 2002 general elections, helping former president Pervez Musharraf to achieve his political objectives and form a coalition government by merging a few factions of the PML.