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Shuja Pasha's leaked interview shows Pak 'feared Taliban seizing control of Afghanistan'

Islamabad, Thu, 22 Mar 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Mar 22 (ANI): Pakistan does not want the Taliban to seize control of Afghanistan when NATO forces leave the war-torn country, it has emerged.

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has been accused of siding with the Taliban as part of a strategy to ensure a friendly government in Kabul and to ensure India does not gain a foothold.

But now, details of an interview with former ISI director General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, written by a researcher with private intelligence firm Stratfor and obtained by WikiLeaks, revealed that the ISI fears that a Taliban takeover would have dangerous implications for Pakistan's security, The Telegraph reports.

"We do not wish to see the Talibs dominate Afghanistan," General Pasha reportedly said during a meeting in April last year.

"On the contrary, we want to see a broad-based government that can end the civil war in that country, which has had a disastrous fallout for us. Of course the Talibs will be a key player in a post-Nato Afghanistan, which we feel is necessary for true peace to take place," he added.

Pakistan's security forces had worked closely with Jihadi groups to oust Soviet forces from Afghanistan in the 1980s and then helped the Taliban to power, and therefore suffered huge losses in recent years as some militant groups turned against Islamabad.

The military has so far resisted US pressure to launch an offensive in North Waziristan, where the feared Haqqani network is headquartered and from where it launches attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan.

According to the leaked documents, in the meeting, General Pasha apparently said the military wanted to move into North Waziristan, but was still trying to secure neighbouring areas.

"The only way to mount an offensive in NW is through South Waziristan, which we are trying to stabilise with the building of roads and resettlement of locals," he reportedly said. (ANI)

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