LAHORE The western and the Indian media have unleashed a smear campaign against the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistans premium intelligence agency, in order to counter the growing voice against the drone attacks that have killed scores of innocent civilians and cast a chill on the bilateral ties with the United States.
Media in the UK, the US, India and other likeminded countries are gambling on their (mis)calculation that Pakistan, being a member country of the United Nations, is unlikely to move the Security Council on the drones issue, according to one analysis that is predicated on US officials arguing that these strikes are helpful in taking out high-value targets of al-Qaeda and affiliated groups, allegedly hiding in the so-called 'tribal badlands.
The President, the PM, the Army Chief, the Punjab CM and the ISI chief all have come in the open to register their protest against the drone strikes.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has gone a step further by sternly protesting against the drones.
He has successfully staged a sit-in that halted Nato supplies to Afghanistan.
Among other newspapers, British daily The Guardian reproduced secret US Guantanamo dossiers that purportedly showed US authorities describing Pakistans powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency as a terrorist organisation and considered it as much of a threat as al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Guardians Jason Burke in his report alleged that recommendations to interrogators at the infamous Guantanamo Bay ranked the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate alongside al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Being linked to any of these groups is an indication of terrorist or insurgent activity, read the documents dated September 2007.
He further added in his report: Through associations with these organisations, a detainee may have provided support to al-Qaeda or the Taliban, or engaged in hostilities against the US or coalition forces (in Afghanistan).
The Guardian report adds that the fresh revelation of the ISI links with terror groups comes on the heels of its own published evidence that US intelligence services had been receiving reports of ISI support for the Taliban in Afghanistan for many years.
The report said that in the Threat Indicator Matrix, the ISI is listed amongst 36 groups, including Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led by al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs, the Iranian intelligence services and the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was also said in the report that though the document dated back to 2007, it is unlikely the ISI has been removed from the current Threat Indicator Matrix.
The report adds that in classified memos outlining the background of 700 prisoners at Guantanamo, there are scores of references, apparently based on intelligence reporting, to the ISI supporting, co-ordinating and protecting insurgents fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan, or even assisting al-Qaeda.
Pakistani authorities have consistently denied any links with insurgents in Afghanistan.
The international media, however, has sought to undermine the Pakistan governments protest against drone attacks, though the fact remains that the security forces of the country are taking the issue much seriously.
Sources say moving the UN against drone attacks is one of the options under serious considerations at an advanced stage.
There have also been media reports, one among them quoting a minister, that modalities in this regard are being worked out because the UNSC 2001 resolution that permitted coalition attack inside Afghanistan did not allow hot pursuits inside Pakistan.
Whatever future may behold, today drone strikes stand as a major irritant between the two countries.
No dearth of reports, published and otherwise, implicating CIA and Blackwater agents in dirty work inside Pakistan.
The smearing new disclosures against the ISI seem to be sequel to the longstanding propaganda against Jehad, which hitherto has eluded its nefarious designs.
In view of the track record of the UN, what may transpire of Pakistan moving the Security Council, shouldnt be a hard guess.
For the general people, solace may nonetheless be sought in the strengthening Pakistani spine against the worlds gigantic terror-mongers.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 26-Apr-2011 here.