Cut off ISI-Taliban links, US tells Pakistan

Last Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 00:26

Washington: The US on Wednesday said it has "long
standing concerns" over ISI`s links with the Taliban and wants
Pakistan to "cut-off" those ties, hours after a NATO report
blew the lid off the intelligence agency`s "manipulation" of
Afghan Taliban`s senior leadership.

Pentagon spokesperson Navy Capt John Kirby told reporters
during an off-camera briefing that the facts laid bare by the
damning report were "not a new notion" and these concerns have
been raised earlier as well.

"This is not a new notion, we made those concerns clear
and the Secretary has been very clear about the ongoing
problem of safe havens inside Pakistan for these groups,"
Kirby said referring to a new NATO report on Taliban which
says that the ISI continues to help the extremist group, which
wants to come back to power in Afghanistan.

"We have made it clear already that Pakistan needs to act
against safe heavens. We would like ties between some elements
of ISI and Taliban to be cut-off," he said.

"Taliban are under pressure and influence of security
forces is increasing in Afghanistan. Taliban have been a
determined adversary and it is a known fact that they want to
have control of Afghanistan back," he said.

The Pentagon spokesman said the classified NATO report is
based on thousands of interviews with detainees.

This report is not an analysis and is merely
informational, he said.

Responding to questions, Kirby said the US is committed
to having better relationship with Pakistan.

"We said after Nov 26 attack as well that we respect
Pakistani concerns. We are committed to having a better
relationship with Pakistan, because it is in the interest of
both countries.

"We want to move past this tension with Pakistan, because
we have a lot of common interest," he said.

Kirby said, Pakistan also faces a threat from terrorists
and has been making a lot of sacrifices.
Thousands of Pakistani citizens and soldiers have fell
victim to terrorism, he added.

PTI

Kirk said the US had "longstanding concerns" about the
ties between the elements of the ISI and the Taliban but did
not give details on what elements of the ISI he was referring
to.

Without going into the specific of the classified report,
Kirby said the US does has information that the Taliban is
becoming splintered and is not a monolithic organisation.

For instance, he said, a couple of weeks ago about 50
Taliban came in and asked to be reintegrated.

The reason they gave was that they can`t sleep at one
place for more than a day and that they do not want to kill
their own Afghan countrymen, he said.

So the US pressure on the Taliban is yielding results,
Kirby said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 00:25

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