You might have heard on several occasions about Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), which is often responsible for the state-sponsored terror and feeds into the misadventure of many terrorist groups that operate against India. ISI plays many roles. Intelligence gathering is one such important role.
India TV’s Political Editor Jayanta Ghosal recalled one such incident when he was followed by an ISI agent while he was in Lahore. Jayanta Ghosal was among few journalists who were part of the media contingent whom then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had invited during his historic Lahore Bus trip in 1999.
He remembers how he was followed by ISI agents in Anarkali Market in Lahore, and the funny part is that they were not even trying to be covert about following the Indian journalists and were coming clean about their motives.
“We had visited the Anarkali market in Lahore. And we realised that some ISI officers were following us. The interesting part is that those ISI agents were actually talking to us and disclosing their identities,” he recalled.
— Sidhant Mamtany (@SidMamtany) July 12, 2020
“One ISI officer came to me and said — ‘aur kitna der lagega apko?’ — I said we were in a group, so I am through but i was waiting for some lady journalist who had gone to the currency converter shop. So he replied — ‘Jaldi kijiye sir. Ye mera duty hai jab tak aap log hotel nahi jayenge tab tak apko follow karna hai,” Jayanta Ghoshal recalled.
So the ISI officer was not even trying to hide his identity.
“One of our intelligence officers later told me that in our IB operations we also have to follow people, but we do it more covertly,” he further added.
He further stated that the Indian media tried to ignore this negativism during the historic visit so that the focus did not deviate from the big picture, which was one of peace and prosperity between the two countries.
PM Vajpayee’s message of peace in 1999 was reciprocated by the then Pak Army Chief Gen Parvez Musharraf’s strategic misadventure in Kargil, which led to a controlled war between the two sides in the Kargil heights. The Indian Army then mobilised forces and brought even the heavy artillery guns in the Kargil sector. From Drass to Batalik, the war was waged against the infiltrated Pak soldiers.
Indian Army came out victorious and since then July 26 is celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas.