Bloomberg News

Pakistan Dismisses NATO Report That It Aids Afghanistan Taliban

February 01, 2012

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan dismissed claims made in a classified NATO report that it is aiding Taliban guerrillas in neighboring Afghanistan, a study that also said the militants may again take power in Kabul once foreign troops leave in 2014.

“For me this is old wine in an even older bottle,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said at a press conference in Kabul today. “I don’t think these claims are new. I can just disregard this as potentially strategic leak.”

A report by senior NATO officers in Afghanistan says the Taliban are unbeaten and “its strength, motivation, funding and tactical proficiency remain intact,” the London-based Times said today. The report, entitled “State of the Taliban,” was based on 27,000 interviews with detainees and has been reviewed by the newspaper, according to the Times.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force, Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, told the Associated Press that the report was a summary of interrogations and not based on an analysis of the intelligence available to the military.

Pakistan is, the NATO report states, colluding with the Taliban in directing attacks against coalition forces, using a network of spies and intermediaries to provide strategic advice, the newspaper said.

Members of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency meet regularly with Taliban leaders and “relay any pertinent concerns of the government of Pakistan,” though there is little evidence from detainees that Pakistan provides funding or weapons, according to the report, the Times said.

--Editors: Mark Williams, Sam Nagarajan

To contact the reporters on this story: Eltaf Najafizada in Kabul at enajafizada1@bloomberg.net; Haris Anwar in Islamabad at hanwar2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net


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