Leaked NATO report claims to expose direct links between ISI, Taliban

Published: February 1, 2012
Report claims Pakistan manipulates Taliban. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

Report claims Pakistan manipulates Taliban. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

LONDON: A secret NATO report claims to “fully expose” direct links between Pakistan’s Inter Sevices Intelligence (ISI) and the Taliban, the BBC reported early on Wednesday.

The leaked report has been derived from thousands of interrogations of captured Taliban, al Qaeda and other foreign fighters and civilians.

According to the BBC, the leaked report notes “Pakistan manipulation of the Taliban senior leadership continues unabatedly.”

It goes on to add “as this report is derived directly from insurgents, it should be considered informational and not necessarily analytical.”

The BBC report cited its correspondent in Kabul, Quentin Sommerville, who called the report “painful reading” for international forces fighting in Afghanistan, and the Afghan government.

Pakistan has denied it has any links with the Taliban, but maintains that solution to the region is an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

The report claims that Pakistan and its ISI intelligence agency are aware of the locations of senior Taliban leaders.

“ISI officers tout the need for continued jihad and expulsion of foreign invaders from Afghanistan.”

The Times newspaper, which also saw the report, quoted it as saying the Taliban’s “strength, motivation, funding and tactical proficiency remains intact”, despite setbacks in 2011.

“Many Afghans are already bracing themselves for an eventual return of the Taliban,” it said.

“Once (Nato force) ISAF is no longer a factor, Taliban consider their victory inevitable.”

Kabul, which accuses Islamabad of supporting the 10-year Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, put relations on ice after the September murder of its peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani, which one Afghan minister blamed on Pakistani spies.

The US Department of Defense said it could not comment on the report but set out its fears about Pakistan and its influence in Afghanistan.

“We have not seen the report, and therefore cannot offer comment on it specifically,” Pentagon spokesman George Little told AFP.

“We have long been concerned about ties between elements of the ISI and some extremist networks.”

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “has also been clear that he believes that the safe havens in Pakistan remain a serious problem and need to be addressed by Pakistani authorities.”

In its conclusion, the report said there had been unprecedented interest in joining the Taliban cause in 2011 – even from members of the Afghan government.

“Afghan civilians frequently prefer Taliban governance over the Afghan government, usually as a result of government corruption,” it was reported as saying.

The Times, in an editorial, said Pakistan was “actively hindering reconciliation” between the Taliban and Kabul.

“Islamabad appears to be engaged in a systematic effort to destabilise the Kabul government of (President) Hamid Karzai prior to the withdrawal of Western forces, and to assist those attacking and killing those forces.

“The ISI emerges from this document looking considerably more villainous, even, than the Taliban itself.

“The picture that is painted is very much one of a force that both expects, and is widely expected, to have a big stake in controlling the Afghanistan of the future.”

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Reader Comments (69)

  • Feb 1, 2012 - 3:38AM

    Dreadful ISI :(


  • Mirza
    Feb 1, 2012 - 3:43AM

    This report verifies the demands of Mansoor Ijaz that ISI should be regarded as terrorist organization. If MI is truthful against HH and civilian govt he must be truthful in his demand to his American govt. Let us hear from the people who love MI and wanted to use him to topple the elected govt.


  • Jehanzeb
    Feb 1, 2012 - 3:44AM

    Running with hares and hunting with hounds. Thats what ISI is very good at, when they have a spare moment from manipulating Pakistan’s domestic politics. Double-crossing all the way.Recommend

  • hammad
    Feb 1, 2012 - 3:52AM

    These snakes are coming back to bite us again and again, isolating us and turning us into a basket case like North Korea. When will our establishment learn??


  • Raj - USA
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:03AM

    This is no news. It is a fact. Pakistan wants Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, but Pakistan-controlled peace process. Same as its own government-led and government-owned but Establishment-controlled policies.


  • Cautious
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:04AM

    I guess the Pakistan ban hasn’t silenced the BBC. The rest of the World seems to know more about the ISI than Pakistani’s – perhaps it’s time to quit playing Ostrich and pull you head out of the sand.


  • Ahmad
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:05AM

    It is nonsense! They are themselves talking about peace with the Taliban while it is they the Taliban who are killing Pakistani soldiers and coming from Afghanistan! It is just desperation from US and NATO


  • Tahir
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:08AM

    Yeah I believe report was ‘accidentally’ leaked.


  • Tim Hover
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:33AM

    Is it difficult to compile a report based on statements recorded from tortured innocent afghan civilians by NATO, they don’t spare regular army from friendly fire what to talk of interrogating innocent afghan civilians, by the way how do they differentiate between talibans and afghan civilians. Another propaganda stunt by NATO against Pakistan to pull it back into their painful relationship of an ally in so called War on Terror


  • Sky
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:39AM

    The truth is you can’t change neighbors. When NATO is gone Pakistan has to deal with the same warlords on day to day basis. Pakistan should keep its national interest on top. Invest in future of both Pakistan and afghanistan. At the same time Pak should ensure that there is no violence originating from its soil or across the border.


  • ahmed
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:49AM

    There is nothing new. useless BBC.


  • Iron hand
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:53AM

    Might as well report that the sky is blue. Everyone knows this already.


  • khurram
    Feb 1, 2012 - 5:01AM

    then why the same taliban kill us …;-(


  • Rehan
    Feb 1, 2012 - 5:24AM

    Just some more ground work for war inside Pakistan soil.


  • Pakistan First
    Feb 1, 2012 - 5:25AM

    ISI puts Pakistan’s interests first.
    Whatever they do or dont is based on its assesment and the long term goals
    as far back as Pak. concerned. Zindabad.!
    Intel is a dirty biz. Jst ask CIA.


  • ZP
    Feb 1, 2012 - 5:27AM

    Hey Cautious, pull your head out of the sand and read this too:

    “The report also depicts the depth of continuing support among the Afghan population for the Taliban, our correspondent says.”


  • MarkH
    Feb 1, 2012 - 5:50AM

    They’ve never fooled anyone into thinking otherwise with their one line generic denials, anyways. That’s usually how it always is with ISI. Nobody really believes their denials while they actually think they’re good liars. But all it really comes down to is the fact that an intelligence agency would be one of the primary players in rooting out militants which also means they’re sole owners of the evidence against them which, because of their power ranking, is never in danger of being found out and questioned. They’ll just say no or ignore it with no repercussions as they don’t have to answer to anyone. It’s like trying to convict a killer who managed to become the leading detective on the case and the judge was an accomplice.Recommend

  • Ashraf P
    Feb 1, 2012 - 6:33AM

    If everybody here placed a hand on their heart and promised to speak the truth, we will have to say that this is not news at all.


  • Ashraf P
    Feb 1, 2012 - 6:35AM

    There is no such thing as Pakistani Taliban. They are just militants from the Mehsud and allied tribes.


  • Amjad
    Feb 1, 2012 - 6:47AM

    Sure some more propaganda against the ISI by Indian supported reporters and their Afghan lackeys. We all know how the so called interviews are manipulated by the Afghani government to support their Indian masters. See this report for what it is- a fabrication that allows Afghanistan’s government to blame all of their woes on Pakistan to please their Indian masters.
    Pakistan should build a big wall on the border with Afghanistan to stop these Afghanis coming back after the West leaves.


  • John B
    Feb 1, 2012 - 6:56AM

    I am surprised, really.


  • ZP
    Feb 1, 2012 - 6:58AM

    Hey Cautious,

    Take your head out of the sand and read this too:

    “The report also depicts the depth of continuing support among the Afghan population for the Taliban, our correspondent says.”


  • Mehran
    Feb 1, 2012 - 7:02AM

    any doubt ???


  • meekal ahmed
    Feb 1, 2012 - 7:13AM

    because they want to take over your country.


  • jumbo
    Feb 1, 2012 - 7:14AM

    whats new?? a well known ‘secret’.


  • Feb 1, 2012 - 7:20AM

    who leaked this???????


  • Nand
    Feb 1, 2012 - 7:25AM

    Pakistan suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the silence of good people!Recommend

  • naeem hussain
    Feb 1, 2012 - 7:33AM

    What is wrong in that. America has links with Taliban secretly and begging them to spare the lives of American soldiers. Why America can have links with any body but ISI can not. A well thought campaign is being run against ISI but the enemies of Pakistan will never succeed and have not so far.


  • AK
    Feb 1, 2012 - 7:33AM

    The only credit Pakistan can claim for its 64 years of existence is the manufacturing and export of high grade terrorism….to top it all its asking for an FTA with US, so that it can export “terrorists” without any trade barriers!!!


  • naeem hussain
    Feb 1, 2012 - 7:39AM

    Do some thing about it if you [email protected] – USA:


  • Tim Hover
    Feb 1, 2012 - 8:33AM

    so let me get this straight, a super power cant control talibans because it has links with the intelligence agency of a third world country who is dependent on aid and funding from other countries to provide salaries to its people??CIA should have more links with any one in the world as it has no problems with the fundings, resources or technology.


  • harkol
    Feb 1, 2012 - 8:35AM

    huh! So what’s new!!


  • Umer
    Feb 1, 2012 - 8:40AM

    Just playing information operation against Pakistan by leaking accidentally such reports. US themselves are involved in talks and opening of office in Qatar and blaming Pakistan for support. Strange duplicity….


  • Pakistani Mullah
    Feb 1, 2012 - 8:47AM

    Why is anybody surprised?


  • ashok sai
    Feb 1, 2012 - 9:59AM

    A and B are friends for their mutual benefits and B and C are tied for notorious activities on their own agenda. Now, captain of C is hunted by global forces for criminal activities, C asks shelter for their captain to B which in turn request their best friend A to provide shelter, So, the captain lives at A’s home with top class security for 6 years until he was found and killed by global forces.
    Now A is in self destruction mood and doesn’t want to come out of the denial and accept the facts and move on the right path. If A continues with same downward spiral, soon we will have the equations, A=0, B=0 and C=0.


  • KiJ
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Lemme guess, who would be left living with the Talibans next door after the US exit Afg for good?


  • BJ
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:09AM

    Why no such report on Jundullah, who for years is creating Disturbance in Iran…. These a deliberatley created reports… If so name out people who they interviewed…

    The media is all but * now adays… all powerful and dictating its own terms for its own benefits…


  • Omer
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:14AM

    The defeat of NATO is written on the wall and to wash it they are doing some lame propaganda and Western media playing a role of there right hand in this contest ..


  • Ashraf P
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:25AM

    @naeem hussain:
    Having “contact” with the Taliban is one thing and abetting them is quite another.


  • akbar
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:25AM

    These are just excuses to put pressure on Pakistan.
    When did the US become so pious.
    Just ask the palestinians.


  • Khan Badshah
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:27AM

    US supports Taliban plan to open office in Qatar by year-end



  • NA
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:39AM

    NATO/ USA cannot hold their secrets or it is a deliberate act. It is becoming clearer that Pakistan has been selected as an escape goat by NATO/ US.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:48AM

    now BBC did you also investigated that US is responsible for unrest and militancy in Baluchistan?
    Did you have the news that TTP is American born and funded ? Do you have any facts that suicide bombing occurs when PAK rejects many demands of US ?
    If ISI did anything you explained in above then she has full right to do so .End of story


  • Arish
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:04AM

    I think american,s deserv it, As thay have behave for pakistan .
    Good job
    carry onRecommend

  • BS.Detecter
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:06AM

    Americans are themselves talking to talibans. Qatar has officialy opened Taliban office.

    Now anyone pointing fingers at Pakistan should shove it where the sun don’t shine


  • Abdul
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:15AM

    I dun c any worng in that, if the report is true. Afghanistan is always gonna be Pakistans neighbour. therefore Pak wod want to have a govt which is Pak friendly. SO ISI IS WORKING IN THE INTEREST OF PAKISTAN. What is wrong in that.
    Moreover they are supposedly helping the Afghan Taliban who doesnt carry out any activities inside Pakistan, its the Pakistani Taliban who are playing at the hands of the enemies.
    What would US do, if Iran was its neighbour and had AhmadiNijad regime there.
    Tell me what CIA would have done ?


  • Adeel Ahmed
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:19AM

    What is authenticity of these reports? First debate on it, the on content.


  • gothmog
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:23AM

    NATO is in direct talks with the Taliban so I see no cause for controversy here


  • GH
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:29AM

    The Next News will be Pakistan and ISPR denied this report. Claiming that This news is a propaganda against Pak Army and PPP Government :P


  • Vigilant
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:29AM

    Again Leaked………Similar story…..same villains same heroes…..tired of this Media-Game…


  • Sajida
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:42AM

    Then what is the point of talking to the Taliban?
    Why believe veracity of this when own actions disprove this?


  • Harry Stone
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:50AM

    palestinians – another group living large at the expense of the US.


  • wasim
    Feb 1, 2012 - 12:04PM

    @Raj – USA:

    We have suffered more than any country during the last three decades and will not tolerate a hostile government in Afghanistan. You have reservations about pakistan controlled afghan government and we have objection over Us controlled and india managed Afghan government. All parties are looking out for their geographical interests nobody has a higher moral ground here.


  • Feb 1, 2012 - 12:17PM

    @Amjad: You are hardly aware of truth and mostly deny every thing that the entire world sees so clearly. This denial and support of those very forces that are responsible for the perils of Pakistan makes people like you unique. When will you see what is good for Pakistan and become part of happy progressive world trying to establish peace.


  • SaQiB
    Feb 1, 2012 - 12:22PM


    Does this even matter?? its our right to negotiate with anyone, anywhere, any time and on any matter……………………………………………. u mean nothing to us……… go bang ur headsRecommend

  • Tariq
    Feb 1, 2012 - 12:27PM

    What a leaky intelligence vault these NATO/US agencies have! Must be using Indian locks.


  • Asad
    Feb 1, 2012 - 12:27PM

    So what? According to Americas Talibans are no longer terrorists. They have even removed their names from list of terrorists.


  • Yunus
    Feb 1, 2012 - 12:36PM

    What did USA do when USSR wished to place missiles in Cuba?
    What should Pakistan do when USA, in cahoots with India, conspires to encircle Pakistan?
    What would any sane person do when his neighbor’s house is on fire?

    Cross your heart and answer the above questions …
    By the way who bestowed upon you the mantle to be the world’s policeman


  • antanu g
    Feb 1, 2012 - 12:56PM

    report does not deserve even a passing remark….few days back OLD interview of Penetta was aired and now this…there was a lull in pak bashing in US recently but how long….Obama seeks re-election..such items will keep cropping up. ET or any paper should not waste space on every idiotic news items, conveniently leaked through western media.


  • Faheem
    Feb 1, 2012 - 2:45PM

    it’s true yes they are


  • ubaid
    Feb 1, 2012 - 3:11PM

    i see that the more u talk against pak army or ISI, the more RECOMMENDATIONS it gets….. i say shame on them who think and talk this way…. pak army and its people are suffering the most from this terrorism, u should all c this before foul mouthing. top of the agenda rite now is to make sure this terrorism stops…. if not all than most of the terrorist outfits operating in pakistan are funded by foreign hands, raymond davis is a clear example…. these reports are targeting pakistan only to brain wash the people, which the americans have been doing quite wonderfully since the inception of 9/11, everything which is happening is in america’s favor and we are the one’s who are suffering…… and u still believe such stories….
    i pity u


  • Roflcopter
    Feb 1, 2012 - 4:45PM

    haha when will the West stop this laughable propaganda. I love ISI.


  • j. von hettlingen
    Feb 1, 2012 - 5:03PM

    No doubt this revelation is no relief for the U.S. and its allies that are leaving Afghanistan in two years. Nobody can tell whether the Afghan government would survive beyond 2014. It looks as if Pakistan’s military would survive despite the uncertain future of the cvilian government.


  • ahmed
    Feb 1, 2012 - 5:24PM

    After seeing “one movie” people in Pakistan are convinced that 9/11 was an inside job. Useless. You guys must see the the same movie made later by the same people. They have made 4-5 version of the movie and have pathetically failed to provide any evidence. Pls stop satisfying yourself by conspiracy theories and start living in the real world.

    Acc to pakistani brother , all the terrorist attacks are done by insiders..lol.. But at the same time they will cry that “we are victim of terrorism” . Why should we care about that ??

    If you are a victim , it does not mean that your people can keep bombarding whole world.


  • shuweikh
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:43PM

    “ISI officers tout the need for continued jihad and expulsion of foreign invaders from Afghanistan.”

    I do not see anything wrong with this goal. History has shown that insurgencies in Baluchistan and unrest in KPK (NWFP) always raise their heads whenever there are foreign forces in Afghanistan. Those who want to side with NATO rather than the Taliban, and criticize the ISI for not doing so, fail to learn important lessons from history.


  • Observer
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:04PM

    Very intriguing –

    US and Taliban decide to negotiate cutting out Islamabad and Kabul in Qatar
    Islamabad and Karzai get nervous they will be cut off from any deal in Qatar
    Islamabad and Karzai get all warm and friendly (breaking from the past) and decide to have their own talks (minus the Taliban or the US) in Kabul
    Then the timely leak of a NATO secret report (to scuttle any parallel negotiations between Islamabad and Kabul that would disrupt the US-Taliban talks??)

    Interesting love triangle going on here. Wonder where the poor folks on the afghan streets feature in this whole gameRecommend

  • Feb 1, 2012 - 11:21PM

    Dear readers,

    The classified document in question was compiled from statements made by Taliban commanders and fighters while in detention. It is important to understand the context of this document, and extremely important not to draw firm conclusions based on the musings of detained Taliban. These detainees include some of the most motivated and ruthless of the INS who are inspired to play up their success, support, and morale. Their words must be taken in context. This document aggregates the comments of Taliban detainees in a captive environment, without considering the validity of, or motivation behind their reflections. Any conclusions drawn from this would be questionable at best. We understand there might be public interest in a classified document being exposed, but it is critically important to understand the context of what this document is. The insurgency has not had a track record of unbiased, balanced, or transparent reporting. We continue to see evidence that fighters are ignoring the orders of absentee commanders, and joining the reintegration and reconciliation process.


  • Zia
    Feb 1, 2012 - 11:29PM

    Whole world advised US not to enter in Afghanistan but they did and now heading precisely the predictable end. US and its “coalition of coarced” have failed to achieve their aims (if they had any) and the easiest way is to demonise Pakistan. ISI is doing the right thing and this is how it should be – Pakistan first. US and some in Pakistan want ISI to operate for US—— sorry it cant be done.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Feb 2, 2012 - 10:42AM

    Actually, I have reservations with the Army controlled and Army directed policies of the Civilian Government in Pakistan. I think that the civilian government in Pakistan believes that it shall have no problem from India or Afghanistan once Talibans are removed from the region and that all three countries shall have good relations and prosper. The Establishment in Pakistan thinks otherwise.


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