Pakistan's Spy Agency Arms, Trains Taliban: Report

ISI allegedly trains and funds militants
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 14, 2010 8:01 AM CDT
Pakistan army soldiers take part in an exercise to enhance their skills in Muzaffargarh near Multan, Pakistan on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010.   (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

(Newser) – Pakistan's main spy agency continues to arm and train the Taliban and is even represented on the group's leadership council despite US pressure to sever ties and billions in aid to combat the militants, a research report concluded. "Pakistan's apparent involvement in a double-game of this scale could have major geopolitical implications," said the London School of Economics report, which was based on interviews with Taliban commanders, former Taliban officials, Western diplomats, and many others.

"Interviews suggest that Pakistan continues to give extensive support to the insurgency in terms of funding, munitions and supplies," the report reads. It also supports several insurgent training centers and Madrasas that actively encourage students to fight in Afghanistan. The report even relates a shocking episode in which President Asif Ali Zardari visited Taliban fighters in prison to tell them they were only being held because of US pressure. A Pakistani military spokesman called the report "rubbish," pointing out that the ISI has suffered many casualties fighting militants.

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