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Afghanistan not surprised by Pak support for Taliban

By Samyuktha

Kabul/Washington, July 27 (ANI): Afghan leaders and citizens are not surprised by the Taliban-Pakistani connection made in the Afghan war reports released by the web site WikiLeaks.org.

Kabul's view has long been that ending Pakistani support for the Taliban is the key to ending the war.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai responded to the Wikileaks reports by calling on the US to do more to address the support of Pakistan for the Taliban, who are largely drawn from the Pashtun ethnic group that straddles the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier.

"The recent documents leaked out to the media clearly support and verify ... that success over terrorism does not come with fighting in Afghan villages, but by targeting its sanctuaries and financial and ideological sources across the borders," the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) quoted President Karzai, as saying in a statement.

"Our efforts against terrorism will have no effect as long as these sanctuaries and sources remain intact," he added.

Since Pakistan gave so much support to the Taliban in the 1990s - eventually allowing the group to take control of most of Afghanistan - the anti-Taliban forces that the US installed in power after the 2001 invasion are not inclined to trust Islamabad.

That extends from ethnic Pashtuns like Karzai to, perhaps more strongly, the country's Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks, who have themselves opposed the Karzai regime's outreach efforts to the Taliban.

A common view among the ethnic minorities is that the Taliban is more of a foreign ideological movement propped up by Pakistan than an Afghan movement.

"Karzai isn't going to get anywhere negotiating with the Taliban," CSM quoted Rahman Oghli, an ethnic Tajik member of parliament, as saying.

The 91,000 documents released by WikiLeaks allege in particular that former ISI chief Lt. Gen Hamid Gul (ret.), who ran the organization in the late 1980s, frequented Pakistani madrassas where suicide bombers are trained for Afghanistan, and attended planning meetings involving the Afghan Taliban seeking to attack both Afghan officials and foreign troops inside the country.

Gul has described the WikiLeaks report as fictitious. (ANI)

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