ISI directly supporting Taliban to counter US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan: Report

March 26th, 2009 - 11:53 am ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, Mar 26 (ANI): Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is directly giving money, military supplies and strategic planning guidance to Taliban commanders fighting the US-led NATO forces, leading to rise in militant outfit’s campaign in Afghanistan.

ISI’s direct help is making possible the Taliban campaign in southern Afghanistan, despite Pakistani Government promises to sever ties to militant groups fighting in Afghanistan, according to US Government officials.

S Wing of Pakistan’s spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, is supporting the Taliban and coordinating with other militant groups, the New York Times quoted the officials, as saying.

There is even evidence that ISI operatives meet regularly with Taliban commanders to discuss whether to intensify or scale back violence before the Afghan elections.

US officials said that proof of the ties between the Taliban and Pakistani spies came from electronic surveillance and trusted informants. Pakistani officials said they had firsthand knowledge of the connections, though they denied the ties were strengthening the insurgency.

A half-dozen US, Pakistani and other security officials during recent interviews in Washington and Islamabad, described details of the ISI’s continuing ties to militant groups.

American officials have complained for more than a year about the ISI’s support to groups like the Taliban. But the new details reveal that the spy agency is aiding a broader array of militant networks with more diverse types of support than was previously.

US officials have also said that midlevel ISI operatives occasionally cultivate relationships that are not approved by their bosses.

The ISI helped create and nurture the Taliban movement in the 1990s to bring stability to a nation that had been devastated by civil war between rival warlords, and one Pakistani official explained that Islamabad needed to use groups like the Taliban as “proxy forces to preserve our interests.”

Little is publicly known about the S Wing of ISI, which officials say directs intelligence operations outside of Pakistan.

American officials said that the S Wing provided direct support to three major groups carrying out attacks in Afghanistan: the Taliban based in Quetta, Pakistan, commanded by Mullah Muhammad Omar; the militant network run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; and a different group run by the guerrilla leader Jalaluddin Haqqani. (ANI)

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