Islamabad, Apr 16: A UN report on Friday, Apr 16 said that Pakistan's intelligene angency, ISI continues to maintain close relationship with Lashkar-e-Toiba to stir up anti-India passion in Kashmir and elsewhere.
"The Pakistani military organised and supported the Taliban to take control of Afghanistan in 1996. Similar tactics were used in Kashmir against India after 1989," said the much-awaited report by UN-appointed independent panel to probe the killing of former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto.
The three-member panel, led by Chile's UN ambassador Heraldo Munoz, said that in their desire to achieve its strategic objectives against its neighbours, Pakistan's military continues to maintain active relationship with terror groups at the expense of national secular forces.
In their 65-page report, the panel noted that jihadi organisations which are mainly Sunni groups based largely in Pakistan's Punjab, continue to assist Taliban effort in Afghanistan at the behest of the ISI and later developed ties with al-Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban groups.
"The Pakistani military and ISI also used and supported some of these groups in the Kashmir insurgency after 1989. The bulk of the anti-Indian activity was and still remains the work of groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has close ties with the ISI," the panel.
"A common characteristic of these jihadi groups was their adherence to the Deobandi Sunni sect of Islam, their strong anti-Shia bias, and their use by the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies in Afghanistan and Kashmir," the report said.
The report said that all independent analysts reiterated the fact that ISI still maintain links with terror groups despite claims by several Pakistani current and former intelligence officials of severing such ties in 2007.
Qari Saifullah Akhtar, one of the founders of the Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami (HuJI), was one of the ISI's main links to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and is said to have cultivated ties to Osama bin Laden, who lived in Afghanistan during that period, the report said.
"Akhtar's one-time deputy Ilyas Kashmiri, who had ties with the Pakistani military during the Afghan and Kashmir campaigns, had been a senior aide to bin Laden's deputy Ayman al Zawahiri," it said.
"It was such links and connections between elements in the intelligence agencies and militants, which most concerned Bhutto and many others who believed that the authorities could activate these connections to harm her. Given their clandestine nature, any such connection in an attack on her is very difficult to detect or prove," the report said.