London, May 6 : Foreign troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan have claimed that nearly 60 percent of the guerrillas they are fighting in the Garmser town in Afghanistan are Pakistanis. Describing them as being 'ideologically driven young men', the UK troops say that they consider the war as a "religious obligation of struggle, or jihad". Afghan officials said that Islamabad at best turned a blind eye to the flow (of terrorists from Pakistan into Afghanistan), and at worst encourages it.
They claimed of possessing ample evidence that many of the fighters they encounter in Afghanistan were Pakistanis. Without disclosing their source of intelligence, the British troops said that they heard them speaking in Punjabi accents and also found Pakistani papers and telephone contacts on dead fighters reported The Guardian.
Four months ago British Gurkhas had shot dead a Taliban militant near a small outpost known as Hamburger Hill, and on searching his body, they discovered a Pakistani identity card and handwritten notes in Punjabi, the paper quoted them as saying.
"Our understanding is that the Madressahs of northern Pakistan are the major breeding ground that provide the bulk of brainwashed Taliban fighters," Lieutenant Colonel Nick Borton, commanding officer of Battle group South, reportedly said.
Similarly, Afghan intelligence chief in Garmser, Mir Hamza said that up to 60 per cent of the fighters in Grasser were Pakistanis, who come (into Afghanistan) from militant hotspots such as Waziristan and Swat, but also from Punjab, a rich agricultural province with a history of producing radical Muslims. "Sometimes the Pakistanis have trouble communicating with local (Pashto-speaking) fighters, because they only speak Urdu or Punjabi," he said.
Elaborating on the route that these insurgents take to reach Afghanistan, Walsh said the insurgents crossed from Balochistan, whose capital Quetta was considered to be the Taliban headquarters by NATO commanders.
"They muster in remote refugee camps west of Quetta before slipping across the border in four-wheel drive convoys that split up to avoid detection. Sometimes sympathetic border guards help them on their way. Inside Afghanistan, the fighters thunder across the Dasht-i-Margo before reaching the River Helmand. And finally they reach Garmser, home to the most southerly British base in Helmand province."