The Inter-Services Intelligence (Urdu: بین الخدماتی مخابرات, abbreviated as ISI) is the premier intelligence agency of Pakistan, operationally responsible for gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world. As one of the principal members of the Pakistani intelligence community, the ISI reports to the Director-General and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the Government of Pakistan. The ISI consists primarily of serving military officers drawn on secondment from the three service branches of the Pakistan Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, and Navy) and hence the name “Inter-Services”. However, the agency also recruits many civilians. Since 1971, the ISI has been headed by a serving three-star general of the Pakistan Army, who is appointed by the Prime Minister on recommendation of the Chief of Army Staff, who recommends three officers for the job. The ISI is currently headed by Lieutenant-General Naveed Mukhtar who was appointed Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence on 12 December 2016. The Director-General reports directly to both the Prime Minister and the Army Chief. The ISI gained global recognition and fame in the 1980s when it supported the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet Union during the Soviet–Afghan War in then communist Afghanistan. During the war, the ISI worked in close coordination with the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States to train and fund the Mujahideen with American, Pakistani, and Saudi funds. After fall of the Soviet Union, the ISI provided strategic support and intelligence to the Afghan Taliban against the Northern Alliance during the civil war in Afghanistan of the 1990s. In 2011, International Business Times ranked the ISI as the top intelligence agency in the world.
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