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How to Join ISI ? – A comprehensive guide for aspirants

How to join ISI

ISI is a prominent intelligence agency of Pakistan, responsible for protecting Pakistan from all internal and external threats. It has been ranked as one of the best agencies of the world by some of the most authoritative sources.

A strong zeal can be witnessed to join it, not only among the youth of Pakistan but every citizen of Pakistan want to become a part of it. But how to join ISI ? Unfortunately there is limited guidance about it on internet.

Aim of this article is to provide you a basic guide about securing a career in such a prestigious organization. Before we move on towards how to join ISI, I think you must have  a clear idea about various departments of ISI.

Major departments:

  • Covert Action Division
Responsible for paramilitary and covert operations as well as special activities. Its roles are akin to Special Activities Division of CIA and a handful of officers are trained by the CIA’s SAD and active since the 1960s.
  • Joint Intelligence X
Coordinates all the other departments in the ISI.] Intelligence and information gathered from the other departments are sent to JIX which prepares and processes the information and from which prepares reports which are presented.
  • Joint Intelligence Bureau
Responsible for gathering anti-state intelligence and fake drugs, fake currency and TTP.
  • Joint Counterintelligence Bureau
Focussed on RAW India
  • Joint Intelligence North
Exclusively responsible for the Jammu and Kashmir region and Northern Areas.
  • Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous
Responsible for espionage, including offensive intelligence operations, in other countries.
  • Joint Signal Intelligence Bureau
Operates intelligence collections along the India-Pakistan border. The JSIB is the ELINT, COMINT, and SIGINT directorate that is charged to divert the attacks from the foreign non-communications electromagnetic radiations emanating from other than nuclear detonations or radioactive sources.
  • Joint Intelligence Technical
Deals with development of science and technology to advance the Pakistan intelligence gathering. The directorate is charged to take steps against the electronic warfare attacks in Pakistan. Without any exception, officers from this divisions are reported to be engineer officers and military scientists who deal with the military promotion of science and technology. There are also separate explosives and a chemical and biological warfare sections.
  • SS Directorate’

Mostly comprises officers from Special services group . It monitors the terrorist groups activities that operate against the state of Pakistan. The SS Directorate is comparable to that of The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Clandestine Service (NCS), and responsible for special operations against terrorists.

  • Political Internal Division
Monitored the financial funding of the right-wing political science sphere against the left-wing political science circles.


How to Join ISI?

Now let’s move on towards how to join ISI .

There are basically two ways to join ISI.

  • . The indirect way
  • . The Direct way

First we’ll discuss the 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 army, navy, or the 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.

Now we come to the 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. 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.

Where are the jobs announced?

Jobs are announced in all the major newspapers of Pakistan and Pakistan Defence Blog publishes them as well. Subscribe to our blog newsletter so you don’t miss it next time.

3 thoughts on “How to Join ISI ? – A comprehensive guide for aspirants”

  1. Himad Shah says:

    I’m a big aspirant of military organization of our country to join them as officer. I have tried in ISSB 127 PMA L/C but not reconmended. Now I’m over age but still has willingness to join ISI.

    1. dezicoder says:

      Best of luck 🙂

  2. Adnan kan says:


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