The Taliban’s executive council has denied a recent report that stated the Pakistani military and government provides direct support to the Afghan group.
In a statement released on it website, the Voice of Jihad, the Afghan Taliban described a study released by the London School of Economics as “a merely baseless propaganda launched to promote British and American interests” and “a dictated drama of the political rulers of the West.”
The Taliban claimed that it is fighting the US and Afghan governments with the support of the people in Afghanistan and that it has no need for Pakistani support.
“The current Jihad and resistance against the invaders are being led by the leadership of the Islamic Emirate based inside Afghanistan – obviously with the help and support of the Afghan Mujahid people,” the statement read. “The enemy itself admits, the Islamic Emirate has control over 70% of the Afghan soil. The Islamic Emirate does not need to have such councils outside the country in order to continue the current popular resistance.”
The Afghan Taliban have long attempted to portray their movement as a localized, nationalist insurgency seeking only to restore the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, led by Mullah Mohammed Omar, and they did so again in yesterday’s statement denying links to Pakistan. “The present resistance is completely an home-grown Afghan Islamic resistance against the aggression of the invaders,” the statement read.
The Taliban said that it wasn’t “rational” for the Pakistani government to back them as Pakistan has declared its support of the US and that “manifestations and impact of their support would have categorically become visible.” The Afghan Taliban offered no criticism of Pakistan or the Pakistani military, however, while repeatedly lashing out at the US, Britain, and NATO.
The London School of Economics report, titled “The Sun in the Sky: The Relationship between Pakistan’s ISI and Afghan Insurgents,” was released last weekend and created a stir as it accused the Pakistani military, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, and even the Pakistani government itself of providing support across the spectrum for the Taliban.
“Interviews strongly suggest that support to the Afghan insurgency is official ISI policy,” the paper stated.”It appears to be carried out by both serving and former officers, who have considerable operational autonomy.”
The London School of Economics report even claimed that top political leaders, including Asif Ali Zardari, have met with detained Afghan Taliban leaders and promised to free them as soon as was politically expedient.
Direct Pakistani support for the Taliban has been an open secret for years. The Pakistani government, through the ISI, helped found the Taliban and helped it gain power during the 1990s. Pakistan was one of only three countries to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government.
After the US ousted Mullah Omar from power in 2001 and 2002, the Taliban and al Qaeda regrouped in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan as well as in northwestern Pakistan. The Afghan Taliban teamed up with Pakistani Taliban factions and maintain safe havens and training camps in Pakistan to this day. The Quetta Shura, the Afghan Taliban’s executive council, is named after the Pakistani city where it is based. The ISI, through the Haqqani Network, is known to have directed suicide operations against the Indian Embassy and other targets in Kabul. Several Pakistani military officers have been detained inside Afghanistan in connection with terrorist attacks on Afghan soil, while numerous Afghan Taliban commanders have admitted to receiving support from the Pakistani military over the past several years.
Full text of the denial of Pakistani support by the Quetta Shura
A Study Team of the London School of Economics has claimed in a report that the intelligence agency of Pakistan has been supporting the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan militarily and logistically. It has claimed that Pakistani intelligence officials practically participate in meetings of the alleged Quetta Council and impose their discretions on members of the Leadership Council.
While considering this report of the London School of Economic as a merely baseless propaganda launched to promote British and American interests, the Islamic Emirate, meanwhile, declares its stand as follows:
1. The military power of the Evil Coalition including American, British and NATO forces have failed to prevent the victorious operations of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Now they want to utilize their academic and research institutes in the work of the occupation of Afghanistan and for oppression of the Afghan Muslim people. The baseless report of the London School of Economics is a case in point. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes, the said report by the so-called research institute is a dictated drama of the political rulers of the West. It is not an investigative report based on facts and reasons, ethically carried out by academic research institute.
2. The current Jihad and resistance against the invaders are being led by the leadership of the Islamic Emirate based inside Afghanistan – obviously with the help and support of the Afghan Mujahid people. The enemy itself admits, the Islamic Emirate has control over 70% of the Afghan soil. The Islamic Emirate does not need to have such councils outside the country in order to continue the current popular resistance.
3. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has always emphasized that the present resistance is completely an home-grown Afghan Islamic resistance against the aggression of the invaders. It is not possible to lead such resistance simply by foreign support instead of the native support of the Afghan masses. Had a foreign support rather than indigenous support , ever played a role in such cases, then the surrogate administration of Karzai has military, espionage, economic and political support of 49 countries, why it has failed to prevent the growing national resistance of the Afghan Mujahid nation despite the support of the foreign invaders that the Administration enjoys?
4. Rulers of the government of Pakistan claim that they are the frontline pioneers of the American ignited war. They have not spared to do whatever was in their capacity to do. Hence, it is not rationale to say that they are supporting the jihad and resistance against the Americans in Afghanistan. Had Pakistan supported the Mujahideen, then manifestations and impact of their support would have categorically become visible.
5. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan openly invites all academic and research institutes, military and intelligence entities of the world including the London School of Economics to come to Afghanistan and behold the ranks of the Islamic Emirate with their own eyes that whether the Afghan gallant people or any foreigner make up the Mujahideen and leaders of the Jihad. Then again, they should check the ranks of the Karzai stooge administration to see whether their leaders are the gallant Afghans or the open enemies of our country and the invaders. After that, they should put, their academic and investigative report conducted on the basis of the ground realities, at the disposal of the public of the world. Had they done so, these academic institutes would have abided by their recognized norms and principles; would have saved their caliber and reputations, and produced useful academic report. At least, it would not have been a fabricated drama, ironically ordered by the arrogant powers.
6. To end, the Islamic Emirate calls on all independent countries of the world, particularly, the neighboring countries to extend their support to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to put an end to the occupation of the arrogants so that our oppressed and suffering countrymen can get rid of the occupation of the tyrants and form an independent system.
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.