Pakistan helping Afghan Taliban, says report (Lead)

Wed, Feb 1 2012 18:03 IST | 112 Views | Add your comment
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Islamabad/London, Feb 1

Pakistani security agencies are helping the Taliban in Afghanistan and Islamabad knows the location of senior Taliban leaders, BBC reported Wednesday citing a secret NATO report. Islamabad has rejected the accusations.

The report, prepared from thousands of interrogations, says the Taliban have wide support among the Afghan people. It alleges that Pakistan knows the locations of senior Taliban leaders.

"We have long been concerned about ties between elements of the ISI and some extremist networks," said US Pentagon spokesperson Captain John Kirby, adding that the US Defense Department had not seen the report.

A BBC correspondent in Kabul said the report exposes for the first time the relationship between the Pakistani spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Taliban.

The report said: "Pakistan's manipulation of the Taliban senior leadership continues unabatedly."

"As this document is derived directly from insurgents it should be considered informational and not necessarily analytical," the report added.

Pakistan has, however, rejected the accusations as "ridiculous".

Foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told the BBC Wednesday: "We are committed to non-interference in Afghanistan and expect all other states to strictly adhere to this principle."

"A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in our own interests. We cannot indulge in any activity which takes us away from achieving that objective," the Online news agency quoted Basit as saying.

Lt Col Jimmie Cummings, a spokesperson for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, said the document was "a classified internal document that is not meant to be released to the public".

"It is a matter of policy that documents that are classified are not discussed under any circumstances," he was quoted as saying.

The report quotes a senior Al Qaeda detainee as saying: "Pakistan knows everything. They control everything. I can't (expletive) on a tree in Kunar without them watching."

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