Despite that, “the U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military and development aid to Pakistan for its support.”
They’d have been better off funding one of those legendary, $10,000 NASA toilet seats for every man, woman, and child in America instead.
And of course, it’s all fun and games for Pakistan’s ruling elite until the jihadists who found sanctuary on the western frontier are breaking down the gates in Islamabad. “Pakistan Urges On Taliban,” by Julian E. Barnes, Matthew Rosenberg, and Habib Khan Totakhil for the Wall Street Journal, October 6 (thanks to Observer):
Members of Pakistan’s spy agency are pressing Taliban field commanders to fight the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, some U.S. officials and Afghan militants say, a development that undercuts a key element of the Pentagon’s strategy for ending the war.
The explosive accusation is the strongest yet in a series of U.S. criticisms of Pakistan, and shows a deteriorating relationship with an essential ally in the Afghan campaign. The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military and development aid to Pakistan for its support.
The U.S. and Afghanistan have sought to persuade midlevel Taliban commanders to lay down their weapons in exchange for jobs or cash. The most recent Afghan effort at starting a peace process took place this week in Kabul.
Oops: What happens to the cash?
But few Taliban have given up the fight, officials say. Some Taliban commanders and U.S. officials say militant leaders are being pressured by officers from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency not to surrender.
“The ISI wants to arrest commanders who are not obeying [ISI] orders,” said a Taliban commander in Kunar province.
U.S. officials say they have heard similar reports from captured militants and those negotiating to lay down their arms.
A senior Pakistani official dismissed the allegation, insisting Islamabad is fighting militants, not aiding them.
“Whenever anything goes wrong in Afghanistan, ISI is to be blamed,” said the senior Pakistani official. “Honestly, they see ISI agents behind every bush in Afghanistan.”
The explosive accusations of ISI efforts to keep Taliban commanders on the battlefield are the strongest yet in a series of U.S. criticisms of Pakistan, and show a deteriorating relationship with an essential ally. The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military and development aid to Pakistan in return for its support for the Afghan war and its own fight against extremists; the reports suggest some Pakistani officials are undermining that strategy.
The Taliban commander in Kunar, like others interviewed in recent days, said he remained opposed to the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan and had no plans to stop fighting them. But “the ISI wants us to kill everyone–policemen, soldiers, engineers, teachers, civilians–just to intimidate people,” the commander said….