LeT teaming up with Taliban to fight Pak intelligence: Report

NATO officials said they had seen evidence of loose cooperation between Lashkar-e-Toiba & Taliban.

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2010, 20:56 PM IST

New York: Pakistan-based Punjabi terror
outfits like LeT appear to be teaming up with Taliban to fight
their "creators" -- Pakistani intelligence and security
services -- who had patronised them to work against India, a
media report here said Wednesday.

American and NATO officials said they had seen evidence
of loose cooperation between Lashkar-e-Taiba and
Tehrik-e-Taliban, `The New York Times` reported, citing new
intelligence assessments from the restive Afghan-Pakistan
border region.

Lashkar is a Punjabi group and is considered one of
the most serious long-term threats inside Pakistan, the report
said.

"Punjabi groups, many of which were created by Pakistani
intelligence to fight against India`s interests in Kashmir,
now appear to be teaming up with Pashtun groups like the
Afghan and Pakistani Taliban to fight their creators, the
Pakistani intelligence and security services," it said.

According to Pentagon and military officials who
routinely engage with their Pakistani counterparts, officials
in Islamabad agreed with the new US and NATO assessments.

"This is actually a syndicate of related and
associated militant groups and networks," an American
officer was quoted as saying, summarising the emerging view of
Pakistani officials. "Trying to parse them, as if they have
firewalls in between them, is really kind of silly. They
cooperate with each other. They franchise work with each
other."

The role of senior leaders of al-Qaeda, who are believed
to be hiding in the tribal areas of Pakistan, remains
important as well, officials said.

"They are part of this very complex collusion that occurs
between all of these extremist groups," one American official
was quoted as saying.

"Each group provides certain value to the syndicate. Al-
Qaeda senior leadership provides ideological inspiration and a
brand name, which is not all that tangible, frankly, but it`s
still pretty important."

Officials said the loose federation was not managed by a
traditional military command-and-control system, but was more
akin to a social network of relationships that rose and faded
as the groups decided on ways to attack Afghan, Pakistani,
American and NATO interests, according to the daily.

While these expanding relationships among insurgent
groups are foremost a response to increased American and
allied attacks, another motivation is eliminating the need for
each group to guard its physical territory and
money-generating interests from the other extremist
organisations, the report said.

PTI