A major part of our nation aspires to serve the motherland as a part of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). PakArmyRanks.com receives many emails on daily basis, featuring curious youngsters, asking about the procedure to join ISI.
How to Join ISI
Well, there are two ways to join ISI:
- 1. The Indirect Way
- 2. The Direct Way
1. Indirect Procedure
If you are passionate to serve your motherland, you‘ll surely achieve it somehow. Join ISI indirectly requires joining first, the armed forces of Pakistan. Be it the army, navy, or air force; members of all armed forces can join ISI, whether they are Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO’s), or the Non Commissioned Officers (NCO’s).
Officers/JCO’s/NCO’s have to apply for admission. After taking permission from the Unit Officers Commandings, they appear in a basic test which on clearing, they are sent into the Inter-Services Intelligence School. After finishing the intelligence course, they can apply to be posted in Field Intelligence Units (FIU) or in the directorate of Military/Air/Naval intelligence.
Then they wait and hope that their performance is good enough to be invited to the ISI for a temporary posting. Based on their performance in the military and the temporary posting with ISI, they are then offered a more permanent position.
Senior ISI officers with ranks of Major and above are only assigned to the ISI for no more than two to three years to curtail the attempt to abuse their power. Almost all of the Director-Generals of the ISI have never served in the organization before being appointed by the military commanders to lead it.
ISI also monitors former, current and retired military officers who at one point or another, held sensitive positions and had access to classified data. However, in some special circumstances, officers with outstanding achievements are given an extended appointment and even a lifetime (till 60 years of age) job.
2. Direct Procedure
For civilians, recruitment is advertised and is jointly handled by the Federal Public Services Commission (FPSC) and civilian ISI agents are considered employees of the Ministry of Defense. The FPSC conducts various examinations testing the candidates’ knowledge of current affairs, English and various analytical abilities. Based on the results, the FPSC shortlists the candidates and sends the list to the ISI which then, conducts the initial background checks. The selected candidates are then invited for an interview which is conducted by a joint committee comprising both ISI and FPSC officials.
Those candidates who pass the interview, then have to go through rigorous fitness, medical and psychological evaluations. Once the candidate clears these evaluations, the ISI performs a very thorough background check on the candidate before being offered to join the ISI. A security clearance is granted once the candidate accepts the offer. Recruited agents then go to the Inter-Services Intelligence School for basic training following which, they are employed on an initial one-year probationary period.
However, civilian operatives are not allowed to rise above the equivalent of the rank of Major and are mostly assigned to Joint Intelligence X (JIX), Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB) and Joint Counterintelligence Bureau (JCIB) departments and the rest of the departments are solely headed by the armed forces though there have been rare cases in which civilians have been assigned to those departments.