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New York Times: Widening Taliban Insurgency Aided by Pakistan

By VOA News
26 March 2009

A published report says Pakistan's military intelligence operatives are providing support to the widening Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan.

In its Thursday edition, the New York Times newspaper quotes unnamed U.S. government officials who say the ties continue despite promises from the Pakistani government to cut links with militant groups fighting in Afghanistan.

The article says there is evidence that agents in Pakistan's military intelligence, known as the ISI, have met with Taliban commanders to discuss whether to increase attacks before Afghanistan's August elections.

According to the report, U.S. officials say proof of the cooperation between the Taliban and the ISI came from electronic surveillance and trusted informants. It also says Pakistani officials who were interviewed said they had firsthand knowledge of the ties.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit dismissed the report on Thursday, calling it "sensational journalism."

The article says Pakistani support for Taliban fighters consists of money, military supplies and strategic planning.

It also says Pakistani's intelligence agency is aiding a much broader array of militant networks than was previously known, including a group run by Gulbuddin Heymatyar and another led by Jalaluddin Haqqani.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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