ISI shelters top Afghan Taliban leaders. Shocking!

Today’s report in The New York Times on Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate’s detention of Mullah Baradar and other top Afghan Taliban leaders as part of an attempt to sabotage and control negotiations with the Afghan government wins this month’s coveted Captain Louis Renault Award hands down. And to boot, the ISI used the CIA to help track Baradar. This report requires no commentary, because none of us here at The Long War Journal are in the least shocked:

“We picked up Baradar and the others because they were trying to make a deal without us,” said a Pakistani security official, who, like numerous people interviewed about the operation, spoke anonymously because of the delicacy of relations between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States. “We protect the Taliban. They are dependent on us. We are not going to allow them to make a deal with Karzai and the Indians.”

Some American officials still insist that Pakistan-American cooperation is improving, and deny a central Pakistani role in Mr. Baradar’s arrest. They say the Pakistanis may now be trying to rewrite history to make themselves appear more influential. It was American intellgence that led to Mr. Baradar’s capture, an American official said.

“These are self-serving fairy tales,” the official said. “The people involved in the operation on the ground didn’t know exactly who would be there when they themselves arrived. But it certainly became clear, to Pakistanis and Americans alike, who we’d gotten.”

Other American officials suspect the C.I.A. may have been unwittingly used by the Pakistanis for the larger aims of slowing the pace of any peace talks.

“We have been played before,” a senior NATO official said. “That the Pakistanis picked up Baradar to control the tempo of the negotiations is absolutely plausible.”

As for Mr. Baradar, he is now living comfortably in a safe house of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Pakistani official said. “He’s relaxing,” the official said.

Many of the other Taliban leaders, after receiving lectures against freelancing peace deals, have been released to fight again.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Jimmy says:

    We have been played before,”

  • Charu says:

    The Pakistanis have been brilliantly playing the CIA for decades, which is why there is deep abiding respect for the ISI at Langley. Spooks live and breath duplicity and deceit, and there is no one better at it than Kayani, the former ISI head. See this telling cartoon from Ajit Ninan: //

  • Charu says:

    From the NYT article: “The Pakistani official even joked about the C.I.A.’s na├»vet

  • Sumit says:

    sometimes I wonder how these Pakistani played with US government, Are they really so smart or if GOTUS is so incompetent.

  • lwj01 says:

    Spanta (National Security Adviser, Afghanistan) gets it. Yet we don’t!

  • Paul says:

    And we fund the Pak army because?

  • Just Observing says:

    Does Washington go Dry or Astro Glide?
    They [DC] have Zero End Game STRAT, take whats Precious to the Pak’s, and we all know what that is.
    Paintballers plan better. This is Disgusting.

  • Charu says:

    @Sumit, short answer; both! The Pakistanis embraced the Quranic (Koranic) concept of war; one of their own, Brigadier S. K. Malik, wrote a book on this (// This includes taqiyah, the Koranic injunction that allows dissembling and not honoring one’s word. It is significant that Gen. Musharraf invoked the Treaty of Hodaibiyya (appendix VI) when he first announced to the Pakistani public that Pakistan would ally with the US in the GWOT. This was the peace treaty with Jewish tribes in Arabia that Mohammad reneged on as soon as he was strong enough to massacre them.
    OTOH, US security and military analysts are quite clueless about non-Western history, and easily taken in by superficial “martial” bonhomie and chest-thumping macho talk by bemedalled Generals with clipped mustaches and swagger sticks. This is why Generals Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia Ul-Haq, Pervez Musharraf, and now Ashfaq Kayani were/are so beloved by our military leaders. Jolly good boys, all of them, warriors just like us!

  • THe following video should give insights into why Pakistan is so different from India

  • Zeissa says:

    The Romans were actually very nice though, like America. Read ‘Empires of Trust’.

  • Render says:

    “Incompetent” is the proper word. Mostly by design (see Jamie Gorelick’s wall).
    We fund the Pak Army because it (supposedly) controls the ports, roads, and areas through which our main supply routes for Afghanistan run.
    Dry, it’s not like the USG even knows they’re back there.


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