Washington: Declassified American documents reveal that Islamabad funded, armed and advised the Taliban, the militant Islamic group in Afghanistan.
The National Security Archives of the George Washington University on Wednesday published government documents which prove America knew of Pakistan’s relationship with the Taliban during the seven-year period leading up to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
The revelation comes after Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s admitted some day ago that there is "no doubt" Afghan militants are supported from Pakistani soil.
"While Musharraf admitted the Taliban were being sheltered in the lawless frontier border regions, the declassified US documents released today clearly illustrate that the Taliban was directly funded, armed and advised by Islamabad itself," the National Security Archives said in a statement.
The government documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, also detailed US concerns about Pakistani troops training and fighting alongside the Taliban inside
"The records represent the most complete and comprehensive collection of declassified documentation to date on Pakistan's aid programmes to the Taliban, illustrating Islamabad's firm commitment to a Taliban victory in Afghanistan," the Archives said.
The Archives also pointed out is that these new documents also support and inform the findings of a recently-released CIA intelligence estimate characterising Pakistan's tribal areas as a safe haven for al-Qaeda terrorists.
"Declassified State Department cables and US intelligence reports describe the use of Taliban terrorist training areas in Afghanistan by Pakistani-supported militants in Kashmir, as well as Pakistan's covert effort to supply Pashtun troops from its tribal regions to the Taliban cause in Afghanistan—effectively forging and reinforcing Pashtun bonds across the border and consolidating the Taliban's severe form of Islam throughout Pakistan's frontier region," the Archives said.
Even though Islamabad denies that it ever provided military support to the Taliban, the documents reveal that in the weeks following the Taliban takeover of Kabul in 1996, Pakistan's intelligence agency was "supplying the Taliban forces with munitions, fuel, and food," the Archives said.
Pakistan's Interservice Intelligence Directorate was "using a private sector transportation company to funnel supplies into Afghanistan and to the Taliban forces," it said.
The documents point to a September 2000 cable cited in the 9/11 Commission Report which noted that Pakistan's aid to the Taliban has reached "unprecedented" levels, including reports that Islamabad haD possibly allowed the Taliban to use territory in Pakistan for military operations.
Furthermore the US has "seen reports that Pakistan is providing the Taliban with materiel, fuel, funding, technical assistance and military advisors," the Archives said.