We retired the prestigious Captain Louis Renault Award last year after Osama bin Laden was killed at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. We felt that nothing could top the shock value of that. Osama bin Laden, living for years just a stone’s throw from Pakistan’s top military academy, far from the tribal areas, and the US couldn’t tell Pakistani officials the raid on his compound was coming because US officials didn’t trust them – what could have been more shocking.
We’ve wanted to roll out the award several times since then but stifled the urge. But now comes this report, from the BBC, on a leaked NATO document that – wait for it – says that Pakistan supports the Afghan Taliban and shelters its leaders. Who would have seen this one coming? We truly and sincerely are shocked, shocked! that Pakistan would do such a thing. Below is a long excerpt from the BBC report:
The Taliban in Afghanistan are being directly assisted by Pakistani security services, according to a secret Nato report seen by the BBC.
The leaked report, derived from thousands of interrogations, claims the Taliban remain defiant and have wide support among the Afghan people.
It alleges that Pakistan knows the locations of senior Taliban leaders.
A BBC correspondent says the report is painful reading for international forces and the Afghan government.
Pakistan has strenuously denied any links with the Taliban on previous occasions.
“We have long been concerned about ties between elements of the ISI and some extremist networks,” said US Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby, adding that the US Defence Department had not seen the report.
The BBC’s Quentin Sommerville in Kabul says the report – on the state of the Taliban – fully exposes for the first time the relationship between the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) and the Taliban.
The report is based on material from 27,000 interrogations with more than 4,000 captured Taliban, al-Qaeda and other foreign fighters and civilians.
It notes: “Pakistan’s manipulation of the Taliban senior leadership continues unabatedly”. It says that Pakistan is aware of the locations of senior Taliban leaders.
The report states: “As this document is derived directly from insurgents it should be considered informational and not necessarily analytical.”
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