The statement by the United States of America that the Taliban is not a terrorist outfit is shocking indeed, but comes as no surprise. How often do you witness a scenario where an army pays the enemy for protection on one hand while fighting it on the other.
The Afghan Taliban headed by Mullah Omar is backed by the ISI and is being nurtured to fight against the Tehrik-Taliban and the ISIS in Afghanistan.
The same Taliban headed by Omar which the US had unleashed its forces on for so many years has become the good Taliban. The good Taliban is the one which does not attack Pakistan while the bad Taliban (Tehrik-e-Taliban) is the one which hurts Pakistan.
How the US funded the Taliban?
The US realizes the importance of the Afghan Taliban. After all if peace and stability returns to the region, then the US will have nothing to interfere about in this part of the world. Although the US battled the Taliban in Afghanistan, they did nothing when the Paksitanis moved Mullah Omar into a safe house in Balochistan.
While the US fought the Taliban there was another strategy that was adopted to ensure that this outfit did not wither out completely and had the sufficient resources to keep itself alive. The question is how did the US do it.
During the time of the war when it was largely felt that the Taliban had fallen, there was a sense of lawlessness that prevailed in Afghanistan. Taliban fighters were all over the place seeking protection money. The US soldiers were given millions of dollars to be used as protection money.
Taliban fighters would be found at checkpoints which the US soldiers had to cross regularly. Each time the soldiers wanted to cross over they would slip in considerable amounts of money on the pretext that they need to be protected.
The tax payer's money
All the money that was sent to the US soldiers was the money of the tax payers of America. Millions of dollars were sent in regularly on the pretext that it was needed to wage a war against terrorist groups. However a majority of this money was being used as protection money, which many believe was an indirect way of funding the Taliban.
While on one hand US soldiers paid the Taliban for their own safety, there was a considerable amount of money being paid to ensure the safe passage of US supplies as well. Former members of the CIA were posted in Afghanistan who acted as middlemen and ensured that the money reached the Taliban.
Experts would say that the Taliban which was seen as the enemy for the rest of the world in reality were being paid a huge salary to protect both US soldiers and ensure safety of their supply routes.
More evidence came forward in the NCL Holdings case. The NCL Holdings was run by Hamid Wardak who is the son of former defence minister of Afghanistan, General Abdul Rahim Wardak. This company was awarded a US military logistic contract.
The job of this company was to bring in supplies from the US and deliver it at Afghanistan. However they felt that some Taliban commanders may pose a danger to them. Millions was pumped in through this company which landed up in the hands of the Taliban which ended up protecting the supplies that the company brought into Afghanistan.
ISIS and TT are beyond control
It is ironic how things change so soon. Mullah Omar considered to be one of the most dangerous men in the world had become the leader of a Good Taliban. He is completely backed by Pakistan who feel that his stature will unite the forces to fight against the Tehrik-e-Taliban and the ISIS.
Pakistan senses a great deal of danger to its ambitions in Afghanistan with the advent of outfits in the region which are unwilling to tow the ISI line. What has worried Pakistan even more is that the Al-Khorasan headed by Hafiz Khan has been pressed into action by the ISIS in Afghanistan. Eventually the Al-Khorasan and the TT will come together and battle Pakistan's proxies.
Both the Al-Khorasan and the TT will never tow either Pakistan's or America's line and hence they are considered to be beyond control. In such a scenario both the US and the Pakistan feel the need to nurture Mullah Omar and his so called Good Taliban.