NATO leak overshadows Pak-Afghan talks

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A leaked NATO report accusing Pakistan of secretly aiding Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan overshadowed a fence-mending visit by Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Kabul on Wednesday.
The leak came as spectacularly bad timing for the one-day visit, which was aimed at thawing frosty ties between the two neighbours, blighted by mutual accusations over the violence in both countries.
The report — seen by The Times newspaper and the BBC — was compiled from information gleaned from insurgent detainees and was given to NATO commanders in Afghanistan last month, the media reports said.
The “State of the Taliban” document claims that Islamabad, via Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency, is “intimately involved” with the insurgency and that the Taliban assume victory is inevitable once Western troops leave in 2014.
A spokesman for NATO forces in Afghanistan warned that the document was not an analysis of the progress of the military campaign.
The document “may provide some level of representative sampling of Taliban opinions and ideals but clearly should not be used as any interpretation of campaign progress,” Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings told AFP.
“The classified document is a compilation of Taliban detainees’ opinions and ideals based on their comments while in detention.
“It’s important that this context be understood and extremely important not to draw conclusions based on the Taliban comments.”
The BBC said the report was based on material from 27,000 interrogations of more than 4,000 captured Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives.
“Pakistan’s manipulation of the Taliban senior leadership continues unabatedly,” the report was quoted as saying.
Kabul government officials declined immediate comment on the report, but Pakistan hit out angrily, saying it was not worth commenting on.
“This is frivolous, to put it mildly. We are committed to non-interference in Afghanistan and expect all other states to strictly adhere to this principle,” foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told AFP.
“Pakistan has suffered enormously because of the long conflict in Afghanistan. A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in our own interest and we are very much cognisant of this,” Basit said.
Khar, on her first visit to the Afghan capital, was to hold talks with President Hamid Karzai and her Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rasoul just hours after news of the report broke.
Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai had told reporters ahead of Khar’s visit that it was aimed at opening a “new phase” in cooperation between the two countries.
Kabul, which has long accused Islamabad of supporting the 10-year insurgency in Afghanistan, put relations on ice after the September murder of its peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani, which one Afghan minister blamed on Pakistani spies.
Kabul said the bomber who killed Rabbani was a Pakistani and accused the Pakistani government of hindering the investigation.
“This visit is aimed at improving our relations as well as at resuming those meetings,” a senior official in Karzai’s office told AFP.
In December, Pakistan boycotted the Bonn conference on the future of Afghanistan to protest against US air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the porous Afghan border on November 26.
Khar’s visit comes amid tentative moves towards negotiations in Qatar between Washington and the Taliban, who were ousted from power by the 2001 US-led invasion.
Karzai has given his blessing to the Taliban opening a political office in the Gulf state, but is wary of being sidelined and has insisted that his government has a central role in any peace talks.
Pakistani analyst Rahimullah Yusufzai said both governments “feel a bit left out” of the Qatar negotiations and “would be trying at least to find out what is happening and maybe try to coordinate their own policies accordingly”.

10 COMMENTS

  1. The time has come for Pakistan to realize that it is not possible to fool all the people all the time. Enough is enough!

    • Pakistan has not fooled any one but I have to say that time has come for those who wonder to stop wondering and give due credence to Pakistan's anxieties and concerns viz vie regional needs.

      • What would you say Pakistan was doing denying any knowledge of ABL's whereabouts all along?

        And, what would you say Pakistan is doing in Kashmir and blaming India for it?

        And, what would you say Pakistan was doing denying any knowledge of terrorist attackers of Mumbai?

        And, what would you say Pakistan is doing denying any knowledge of who killed Salim Shahzad?

        And, what would you say Pakistan is blaming India for the mayhem let lose by its army in Baluchistan?

        And, much, much more………..

        The rest of the world calls it fooling.

        And why must Pakistan beg others to give "due credence to Pakistan's anxieties "?
        Just grow up; you are 64 already.

        • Hindu Banneeya ..why dont you buy your own newspaper facist "THE HINDU" and read it .. :))))) Stop reading Paki papers for free and then commenting on it with its your Mamma jee ka Paper ..

  2. Pakistan has not fooled any one but I have to say that time has come for those who wonder to stop wondering and give due credence to Pakistan's anxieties and concerns viz vie regional needs

  3. Its not just co-incidence, but a well calaulated maneuver by the US to undermine the visit. Particularly, when it comes in preparations of tri-lateral summit between Afghan-Pakistan-Iran heads of state.

  4. Timing of this report is a clear sabotage of Khar's visit and Pakistan's role in peace talks.

    NATO has accomplished nothing in ten years in Afghanistan and now they want to damage some more, rather than bring this war torn country to peace?

    It is time that NATO packed up its deadly arsenal and left Afghanistan. Rather than rebuilding, they have fractured Afghanistan even further.

  5. Pakistan should stop aiding the extremists. Don't consider the jihadist elements as national assets. As the Pakistani pm said – peace in Afghanistan is vital 4 peace in Pakistan

  6. first panetta says ISI knew of osama in pak, next day obama says drones will continue on paki soil, today nato report leaked…looks like US is laying grounds to attack islamabad directly..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. peace can never come untill india changes its policy towards kashmir,,there should be voting on kashmir again,wheather the people of kashmir would like to join pakistan or india..thats clear…why fighting? simple solution but india has kept on beating them and supressing them wth corrupt indian army

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