Clinton’s emails indicate Mullah Omar was shielded by ISI
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Taliban leader Mullah Omar was saved by Pakistan’s spy service ISI, says an email of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. The email was made public by the State Department on Monday.
While the email gives no further information, it does indicate that Clinton was aware of necessary intelligence information. Mullah Omar reportedly died at a hospital in Karachi two years ago.
However, Pakistani authorities strongly refute reports of direct links between ISI and Mullah Omar. Officially, the US too insists it has no such evidence. But one of the emails written to Clinton on August 25, 2010 indicates otherwise.
“I'm sure you know the facts in this well-informed piece, how Mullah Omar was saved by ISI, for example, but the idea of Afghanistan as an aspect of lndo-Pak war is the best and overarching strategic concept,” Clinton was told in the email, in which the full name of the writer has been redacted.
This is written on top of an article “The military and the mullah” , written by William Dalrymple in New Statesman. The writer says the Pakistani state has a long history of nurturing jihadis as a means of dominating Afghanistan and undermining India.
According to the article, ISI gave refuge to the leadership of the Taliban after it fled Afghanistan in 2001. “Mullah Mohammed Omar was kept in an ISI safe-house in Quetta; his militia was lodged in the sprawling suburb of Pashtunabad.”
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar presided over the Taliban military committee and war chest. Gulbadin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hezb-i-Islami, was lured back from exile in Iran and allowed to operate outside Peshawar, it alleges.
Jalaluddin Haqqani, one of the most violent Taliban commanders, was given sanctuary in North Waziristan. Other groups were despatched to safehouses in Balochistan, the article claims.
By 2004, the US filmed Pakistan Army trucks delivering Taliban fighters at the Afghan border and recovering them a few days later; wireless monitoring at the US base at Bagram picked up Taliban commanders arranging with Pakistani army officers at the border for safe passage as they came in and out of Afghanistan.
“Western intelligence agencies concluded that the ISI was running a full training programme for the Afghan Taliban, turning a blind eye as they raised funds in the Gulf and allowing them to import materiel, mainly via Dubai. By 2005 the Taliban, with covert Pakistani support, were launching a full-scale assault on Nato troops in Afghanistan and being given covering fire as they returned to their bases in Pakistan,” the report said.
In another email, an analyst – whose name has been redacted – recommends that the only way to bring peace to Afghanistan was direct talks between the US and the Taliban.
“The senior Taliban leaders would need to be brought across the border into Afghanistan, to get them out from under the control of the ISI. All this would need deception and trickery,” the analyst wrote in the email which was brought to the attention of the then secretary of state.
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