The Directorate General for Inter-Services Intelligence or Inter-Services Intelligence is the premier intelligence service of Pakistan, operationally responsible for providing critical national security and intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan. The ISI is the largest of the five intelligence services of Pakistan, the others being the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Military Intelligence (MI), Naval Intelligence (NI) and Air Intelligence (AI). In the late 20th century, the ISI’s work and activities in relation to Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet Union during the Soviet–Afghan War in then-communist Afghanistan became quite famous. During this war, ISI worked in close coordination with the Central Intelligence Agency; the latter providing strategic support and intelligence to the Afghan Taliban against the Northern Alliance in the civil war in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
The ISI was established as an independent intelligence service in 1948 in order to strengthen the sharing of military intelligence between the three branches of Pakistan Armed Forces in the aftermath of the Indo-Pak War of 1947, which had exposed weaknesses in intelligence gathering, sharing and coordination between the Army, Air Force, and Navy. Since the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the agency has been headed by a three-star general officer of the Pakistan Army, being the biggest segment of Pakistan armed forces. The agency includes officers from all three branches of the Pakistan Armed Forces; Pak Army, Pak Air force, Pak Navy and a large number of civilian officers.
The Chief of Army Staff recommends three names of general officers to the prime minister for selection and confirmation of Director General ISI. On 12 December 2016, Lieutenant General Mukhtar was appointed to the post of Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence by the Prime Minister of Pakistan as per set procedure. Mukhtar possesses vast experience in the field of intelligence. Earlier, he had also headed the counterterrorism wing of the ISI in Islamabad. The ISI has headquarters in Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Venue. It was ranked as the top intelligence agency in the world in 2011 by the International Business Times.