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Taliban leaders meet ISI officers often,says leaked NATO report

Report based on interrogation of 4,000 captured Taliban,Qaeda militants

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad/london | Published: February 2, 2012 12:51:19 am

Exposing the ISI’s “manipulation” of Taliban’s senior leadership and its “massive double game”,a damning NATO report says that Pakistan government remains “intimately” involved with the Afghan-based terror group.

The report leaked out on a day when Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar was in Kabul for talks with Afghan leaders.

The NATO report contains accusations that Pakistan is playing a massive double game with the West as it publicly claims to seek a political solution to the Afghan conflict,while still supporting fighters who have killed thousands of international troops.

Many of the reports most serious revelations concern the scale of support to the Taliban provided by Pakistan and the influence of ISI agency. “The Government of Pakistan remains intimately involved with the Taliban,” The Telegraph quoted the report as saying. The report was first leaked to The Times newspaper and the BBC.

Reacting to the report,Khar said,“We can disregard this as a potentially strategic leak… This is old wine in an even older bottle.”

The report fully exposes the relationship between the ISI and the Taliban,the BBC said. The report is based on material from 27,000 interrogations with more than 4,000 captured Taliban,al-Qaeda and other foreign fighters. It notes: “Pakistan’s manipulation of the Taliban senior leadership continues unabatedly”. It says that Pakistan is aware of the locations of senior Taliban leaders such as Nasiruddin Haqqani,who maintain residences in the immediate vicinity of ISI headquarters in Islamabad. The report says senior Taliban leaders regularly meet with ISI officers “who advise on strategy and relay any pertinent concerns of the Government of Pakistan”.

The report also suggested that captured Taliban militants believe they will return to power after the US-led coalition ends its combat role in Afghanistan in 2014.

Female professor sent anthrax to Gilani office

A university professor allegedly sent a packet containing anthrax to the Pakistani prime minister’s office in October,his spokesman said Wednesday,raising new security concerns in a country battling Islamist extremists. No one was made ill by the deadly spores in the package,which was sent by a female professor who was not otherwise identified,said Akram Shaheedi,a spokesman for Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. He added that the motive was not clear.

Shaheedi said tests at laboratories run by Pakistan’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Islamabad confirmed the substance in the package was anthrax. Shaheedi said the package was received in October. He did not say why the case was publicised only now. AP

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