Pakistan Dismisses Allegations of Afghan Taliban Support

Posted February 1st, 2012 at 7:55 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan has dismissed a leaked report allegedly authored by the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan that accuses Pakistan of secretly assisting the Taliban.

According to a classified report seen by The Times newspaper and the BBC, Pakistan's military spy agency, the ISI, is supporting the Afghan Taliban, and the insurgents believe victory is inevitable once NATO troops leave in 2014.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry Wednesday called the report's findings “frivolous” and said Islamabad is committed to “non-interference” in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told the Reuters news agency the report can be “disregarded as a potentially strategic leak.” She said the information in the report is not new.

The leaked document reportedly was compiled from information learned in the interrogations of 4,000 captured Taliban and al-Qaida operatives.

A NATO spokesman said the report was a collection of opinions of Taliban detainees, not an analysis of the progress of the war, now in its 11th year.

News of the report comes as Foreign Minister Khar is in in Kabul for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Mr. Karzai said at the meeting that insecurity in Afghanistan and Pakistan has inflicted great harm on both countries and has held them back in their efforts toward peace.

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been tense, as Afghan officials have accused militants from Pakistan of fomenting violence in Afghanistan and disrupting the peace process there.

On Wednesday, the Afghan Taliban denied reports that they were opening peace talks with Afghan government officials in Saudi Arabia.

Afghan officials had suggested that such a dialogue would take place separately from reported peace efforts in Qatar between the United States and Taliban.

The insurgent group has repeatedly refused to deal with Mr. Karzai's government, calling it a “puppet regime.”

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said Wednesday that the group would not be sending a delegation to Saudi Arabia for talks with representatives of the Karzai government.

The spokesman also said that the Taliban had not yet started negotiations with U.S. officials in Qatar.