Sunday, May 28, 2006

Taleban? What Taleban?

Pakistanis have long been familiar with accusations of their government/military sponsoring 'cross-border' terrorism in Kashmir, but we've never been too keen on labelling the Line of Control as a border (de facto though it may). But never one to be tarred by a misstatement, our government/military has diligently ensured that the accusations are true with respect to another border - the one with Afghanistan. As this article in The Guardian chronicles, our support for the Taleban has only undergone cosmetic changes.

The Pakistan government/military has cried itself hoarse denying the claims. The official line: it's a porous border and the Afghans are no better are preventing infiltration. But speaking off the record, we're told something else entirely: "We kept telling the Taleban that they do have a future as a political entity indigenous to the area, whereas al-Qaeda doesn't."

By it's very nature, cloak and dagger stuff means the public may never fully learn the truth. But the documented and continuing presence of the Taleban in Baluchistan tells it's own tale.

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