While many analysts believe that the powerful military and its intelligence wing have been playing a double game with the US in Afghanistan to see the Taliban return to power post an acrimonious US exit, Pakistan’s retired Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) chief wanted a diametrically opposite world.
The Telegraph reported on Wednesday quoted a meeting of then DG ISI Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha with a Stratfor researcher, the details of which were leaked by Wikileaks along with hundreds of emails.
The researcher wrote that Pasha was fearful of a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, that it would mean dangerous implications for Pakistan’s security.
“We do not wish to see the Talibs dominate Afghanistan,” Pasha was quoted as saying. “On the contrary, we want to see a broad-based government that can end the civil war in that country, which has had a disastrous fallout for us.”
However, Pasha maintained that any future government in Afghanistan must also feature the Taliban. “Of course the Talibs will be a key player in a post-Nato Afghanistan, which we feel necessary for true peace to take place.”
While the US has expressed its frustration with Pakistan’s delay in taking military action against militants holed up in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the recently retired spy chief said there were pre-requisites to any offensive in North Waziristan. “The only way an offensive in NW is through South Waziristan, which we are trying to stabilise with the building of roads and resettlement of locals,” he said.