Friend and Ally Update: “On the trail of the Taliban’s support: More signs suggest Pakistan plays a role in aiding the Afghan insurgency,” by Paul Watson in the Los Angeles Times, with thanks to Arjun:
…”A hundred armed Taliban men passed through the Pakistani border with their equipment, and with their rocket-propelled grenade launchers,” said Qasim Khail, commander of the Afghan border police’s 2nd Brigade, which guards the post here. “And they retreated the same way. There are only two escape routes out of here, and both of them end at a Pakistani border post.”
Confidential documents obtained by The Times show that for at least two years, U.S. military intelligence agencies have warned American commanders that Taliban militants were arming and training in Pakistan, then slipping into Afghanistan with the help of Pakistani border control officers.
Pact with Islamabad
On Sept. 5, Pashtun tribal leaders in Pakistan’s North Waziristan border region signed a pact with the central government in Islamabad led by President Pervez Musharraf, an avowed ally of the U.S. in its declared war on terrorism.
Under the agreement, the Pakistani army, which had fought fierce battles with pro-Taliban militants, withdrew from the region, leaving a tribal force in charge of border posts. In return, the tribesmen foreswore giving support, training and sanctuary to Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked fighters, although some foreigners were allowed to remain.
But the violence has not abated. Instead, Afghan officials and the U.S. military say that since the pact was signed, cross-border attacks have escalated.
Like many Afghans, Khail believes that despite Musharraf’s persistent denials, his country’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, still supports the Taliban and at least some of its allies. The intelligence documents show that the U.S. military shared this suspicion as recently as the start of this year.
Read it all.