Taliban could return to power: US military
KABUL (PAN): Aided by Pakistan, the Taliban are poised to return to power in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops from the conflict-torn country in 2014, a British newspaper warned on Wednesday.
Pakistan's spy service, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was abetting the insurgents in directing attacks against NATO-led soldiers in Afghanistan, The Times said, citing a "highly classified" report of the US military.
Based on material from 27,000 interrogations with over 4,000 detainees, the report document claims the Taliban’s support among the Afghans is on the rise. Islamabad had detailed information of top rebel leaders’ whereabouts.
Also leaked to the BBC, the document alleges Islamabad continues to manipulate Taliban’s senior leadership, and that the militant movement could come back to power after the ISAF pullout from the country.
In Kabul, a spokesman for the NATO-led force told Pajhwok Afghan News the classified document was a compilation of Taliban detainee opinions and ideals, based on their comments while in detention.
“It is important that this context be understood, and extremely important not to draw conclusions based on Taliban comments or musings...,” said Jimmie Cummings.
The ISAF media official said the detainees included some of the “most motivated and ruthless insurgents”, inspired to play up their success, support and morale. Their words must be taken in context, he stressed.
“It is what it is -- a summary of Taliban detainee reflections and commentary. It is what they think, or what they want us to believe they think. I highly recommend not trying to draw any conclusions based on information in this document,” he remarked.The allegation came hours ahead of Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s fence-mending visit to Kabul. She will meet President Hamid Karzai on possible peace parleys with the Taliban.
In Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit angrily reacted to the accusation. "This is frivolous, to put it mildly. We are committed to non-interference in Afghanistan,” the spokesman told Reuters news agency.
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