The history of intelligence gathering and operations is shrouded by mysteries and myths in the time lines of city state affairs and inter-state relationship. It is a common fact that the intelligence organs of the states are secretive in their organisation, mission and resources. It is like an under world with no set of principles, rules of business and morale scruples to operate and engage within or without boundaries. These agencies are in a perpetual state of flux and consider every thing fair as long as it serves their interests, like the adage, “every thing is fair in love and war”. The sophistication and wide ranging coordination became the digging tools of intelligence agencies after World War II. CIA was established under the National Security Act of 1947, whereas ISI was established in the aftermath of first Indo-Pak war in 1948, to strengthen and coordinate the intelligence gathering between the three branches of the Pakistan’s armed forces. The cold war era saw greater cooperation between the two premier intelligence agencies to act as a bulwark against the then USSR. The famous U-II incident during 1962 highlighted the warmth of the cooperation to the dismay of the KGB, the prime intelligence agency of the then Soviet Union. The invasion of Afghanistan by the then USSR, during 1979, worked as a catalyst and gave new impetus to the cooperation and collaboration between the ISI and CIA. The Afghan Jihad during 80′s proved to be a feast of great intelligence activities leading to the demise of a super power. The conduit role played by ISI between CIA and the Jihadi elements catapulted ISI to the top slots amongst the professionals of classic intelligence net-working. In the aftermath of Soviet withdrawal, the American way, prevailed and left the region high and dry in a state of flux. ISI has to play the cat and mouse game with CIA, Mossad and RAW through imply and deny; in safeguarding the development of nuclear assets at the face of all odds. In the aftermath of 9/11, the US arm-twister Mr. Armitage had to coerce into cooperation our then Chief of ISI with a back to Stone Age, warning .Mr. Mush succumbed to a phone call and ISI had to abandon a strategic ally with a heavy heart. It requires super orchestration to part ways with a buddy with whom one has collaborated so long and then turns against him with impunity. This rejuvenated hug of the ISI and CIA cost us heavily in all the denominators. It turns out to be an existential threat by putting at stake all the national power potentials. However, this strange bedfellow ship continued till the episode of Raymond Davis, the CIA contract employee in Pakistan. The CIA reacted to the gruesome act committed by their operative in a coercive and intimidating mode and went for an over kill by tackling the issue at the highest civil/military leadership level. ISI cooperated with the CIA to the dislike of home ground and provided a safe passage to the spy master. To add insult to the injury, the CIA operated drones were directed against a peaceful tribal Jirga in FATA to the dismay of its collaborators. The marriage of convenience tuned into an estranged bedfellow ship threatening the alliance with a salvo of mistrust and double-cross. The Congressional Commission on 9/11 led by Sen Bob Graham, in its report, titled, World at Risk, identified Pakistan and FATA as, “We believe that the next terrorist attack against the US is likely to originate from within FATA in Pakistan”. The CIA Chief Panetta, alerted the European Govts in Nov 2009, that there is a possibility of jointly planned terrorist attack by al-Qaeda, the Haqqani network and LeT. The very recent WikiLeaks pertaining to Gitmo detainees, dubs “ISI as a terrorist outfit”. In the aftermath of Raymond Davis fiasco, the four hours long inconclusive meeting in Langley, Washington, between the two prime intelligence agencies heads (CIA and ISI) fell short on its purpose and objectives. Admiral Mike Mullen tough talking at our home ground after failing to, “frame new rules of engagement” with his counterparts in Rawalpindi, are indicative of chinks in the amour. The conclusions of these counter strokes could be summarized as under. ” That Pak Army has no clear path to fight the terrorists. ” That drones attacks shall remain one of the CIA’s mainstay against the terrorists within FATA, Pakistan. ” That CIA intelligence net-work is well established in FATA, Pakistan and is no more dependent on the collaboration of ISI. ” That ISI has close links with Haqqani net-work to the detriment of coalition forces in Afghanistan.We may call it a charge sheet or the major contours of trust deficit, but ISI has always been the favourite target of ill-informed and ill-conceived criticism and bully. The charges are un-sustainable and suffer from gross inconsistencies if balanced on the fulcrum of fairplay and ground realities. Though, ISI collaborated with CIA beyond the call of duty once the MI6 and CIA were blank and muffled about the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the post-9/11 scenario. CIA was void of any Humint and the Elint was hazy under the clouds of a complex web of terrain contours. As the moral of the story goes, that a wise cat will never teach the lion all tricks of the catch. This rule of business prevailed during the Afghan Jihad, where ISI played baffle and conduit between CIA and Mujahideen. To the contrary, the unstinted support extended by Mr. Mush, gradually diluted the Humint superiority of ISI by losing ground to Raymond Davis and his ilk operating under various covers. However, CIA’s Humint net-work is mostly Dollar motivated and the moles are prone to double-cross and be easily swayed away from the handler’s zone of interest. So the CIA’s boasting that it does not need the collaboration of ISI for going against the actionable targets is divorced from factual position. The veracity of the tall claim, can be judged from the perspective of targeting peaceful tribal Jirga in Datta Khel, FATA, and bidding millions of US $ on an impersonator of Mulla Masoor, as a point man of the so-called Queta Shura, meaning Mulla Umar Bin Hamlili, a cache of intelligence nasty in Gitmo, who changed hands between MI6 and CSIS (Canadian Secret Intelligence Service) besides, being an al-Qaeda assassin is yet another double-cross to say the least. CIA is adamant to continue with the drones attacks, in spite of being counter productive. It is against the norms of international law and UN Charter, but who listens once the state terrorism becomes the new form of coercive diplomacy. Admiral Mullen considers the historical background of ISI in the region, as a negative bondage with the forces fighting against the coalition partners in Afghanistan, whereas this rapport is a positive indicator towards a stable Afghanistan in the post withdrawal/exit set up. It all depends on CIA to collaborate with ISI or alienate it, to favour RAW, in order to carve a bigger role for India. In nutshell, the stakes are high for both prime intelligence agencies in the unfolding scenario in the region. Targeting Pak Army and ISI at this strategic time and space dimension is a prelude to the contemplation of a bigger game. The alliance is deliberately mismanaged to project India as a regional power and a counter weight to China in Asia. The very fresh incidents of heavy fighting along the Durand Line in Mohmand, Bajaur and lower Dir, besides artillery duel in Angoor Adda, NWA, are fierce enough to be dismissed as a local surge. The series of precise bombing of shrines and tacking out soft targets like Pak Naval buses in Karachi is being done under a well orchestrated subversive planning at a strategic level. It is time to come out of the fear syndrome and revisit our policy of collaboration and cooperation on the war on terror and make inroads with all warring factions. The recent visit of PM, with his strong men at the feathers, to Kabul and the message conveyed as reported in the Wall Street Journal, to the Afghan Govt is the panacea for all the ills in the region. A good neighbour is better than an estranged bedfellow.