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Inter-Services Intelligence (Pakistan)

Last modified: 2021-12-04 by ian macdonald
Keywords: pakistan | inter-services intelligence |
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Inter-Services Intelligence

The General Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (بین الخدماتی مخابرات) (more commonly known as just the Inter-Services Intelligence or simply by its initials ISI) is the premier military-operated intelligence service of Pakistan, operationally responsible for providing critical national security and intelligence assessment to the Government. The ISI is the largest of the three intelligence services of Pakistan, the others being the Intelligence Bureau (IB) (dependent of the Ministry of Interior (official website: and Military Intelligence (MI) (dependent of the Army (official website: It was established in 1948 as part of IB, but then evolved to become an independent agency in 1950."

For additional information go to ISI (semi-official website)
Esteban Rivera, 1 April 2016

Description of the flag

[Inter-Services Intelligence] image by Randy Young, 1 April 2016

The flag is a black horizontal flag with the coat of arms ( of Pakistan in the middle, the motto below (Urdu: ایمان ، اتحاد ، نظم, Faith, Unity, Discipline) as seen here: (source:
Esteban Rivera, 1 April 2016

I think this flag is totally fictitious. The ISI is a military organization and would probably use a flag along the usual lines of flags in the Pakistani military. It would definitely not use just the state coat-of-arms on a unicoloured field.

A quick search of flag usage by the ISI just provided images of the national flag and the Joint Staff flag, see photos of visits at the ISI HQ:
M. Schmöger, 21 June 2016

The photo shown in shows an actual flag, as described "black horizontal flag with the coat of arms of Pakistan in the middle, the motto below." I would suggest this flag is either an unknown flag, a hoax or a “common mistake”.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 June 2016

Having studied Pakistani insignia and flags, I can assure everyone of the following:

1. The ISI is part of the Pakistan Army, headed by a Lt. (3 Star) General in the role of Director General.
2. The organisation has NO separate flag, it does however, have a badge/insignia like all over units within the Pakistan Army.
3. The insignia is the national animal, Markhor (Ibex) with a snake in its mouth. Maarkhor is the Persian/Urdu name for the ibex, literally translated as 'Snake Eater', the snakes being those against the state.

The only reason the coat of arms are used is because the organisation, unlike the CIA or similar organisation doesn't make itself known so openly. Also, the confusion is that it, unlike other secret agencies, isn't directly answerable to elected executive of the government so using the coat of arms would be technically incorrect.
, 21 June 2016

[Inter-Services Intelligence] image located by Esteban Rivera, 28 October 2021

This insignia can be seen at (source:
Esteban Rivera, 21 June 2016


[Inter-Services Intelligence] image located by Bill Garrison, 28 October 2021

On Wikipedia, regarding the "Inter-Services Intelligence" it reports a logo displaying an eagle lifting off. Above, one can see in Urdu the different script that shows there is a difference between these this agency and the Ministry of the Interior.