More evidence that Pakistan is an epicenter of the global jihad. From the New York Times:
KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 3 – For months Afghan and American officials have complained that even while Pakistan cooperates in the fight against Al Qaeda, militant Islamic groups there are training fighters and sending them into Afghanistan to attack American and Afghan forces.
Pakistani officials have rejected the allegations, saying they are unaware of any such training camps. Now the Afghan government has produced a young Pakistani, captured fighting with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan three months ago, whose story would seem to back its complaints about Pakistan.
The prisoner, who gave his name as Muhammad Sohail, is a 17-year-old from the Pakistani port city of Karachi, held by the Afghan authorities in Kabul. In an interview in late July, in front of several prison guards, he said Pakistan was allowing militant groups to train and organize insurgents to fight in Afghanistan. Mr. Sohail said he hoped that granting the interview would increase his chances of being freed. Mr. Sohail described his recruitment through his local mosque by a group listed by the United States as having terrorist links, his military training in a camp not far from the capital, Islamabad, and his dispatch with several other Pakistanis to Afghanistan.
He did not give all the details that intelligence officials said they gleaned from him in interrogations, but he talked easily about his party and its leaders, and said they had high-level support from within the establishment. He said he was recruited and trained within the past eight months by Jamiat-ul-Ansar, the new name for the Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen party, which was designated a terrorist group by the State Department and banned by President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan in January 2002. Under its new name it is functioning, if more discreetly, and its leader, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, moves around freely.
Mr. Khalil has been involved in recruiting and training militants since the 1980’s. In 1998, American planes bombed his training camp in Afghanistan when they were targeting Osama bin Laden after the bombings of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The bombing killed a number of Pakistanis, and Mr. Khalil at the time vowed to take revenge against America for the attack.
It is an open secret in Pakistan that groups supporting separatism in Kashmir have not stopped their activities, despite official declarations, and have continued to train men and infiltrate them into Indian Kashmir. Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said during a visit to the region last month that Pakistan had not dismantled all the camps used to train militants for Kashmir. And while he praised Pakistan for its efforts against Al Qaeda, he urged the country to do more to stop Taliban militants carrying out attacks from Pakistan.