Pakistan: "The Taliban's Godfather"? No.2
Publish date : 7/5/2017

Document 16 - Islama 001054

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "Pakistan Counterterrorism: Ambassadors Meeting with [Excised] on State Sponsor Designation," February 6, 1997, Secret, 1 p. [Excised]

The U.S. Embassy confronts an unnamed Pakistani official on the unsettling triangle possibly developing between Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA), Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Both bin Laden and the HUA have been granted sanctuary in Afghanistan and are linked with terrorist training camps in Khost, near Afghanistans border with Pakistan. The U.S. fears there could be "a linkup between HUA, an organization Pakistan supported and bin Laden; it could have very serious consequences."

The Pakistani official replied that the "HUA had been under very strong scrutiny for "more than a year," and there had been "positive progress" in monitoring and controlling its activities. The HUA, he maintained, was under "enough control" that its activities would not create problems for Pakistan. Similarly he continued, "we wont allow our territory to be used by Osama bin Laden for such activities."" According to the official, Islamabad is in control and the ISID (Inter-services Intelligence Directorate) does not operate in Afghanistan on a separate agenda that is independent of Islamabads policies.

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Document 17

From [Excised] to DIA Washington D.C., "IIR [Excised] Pakistan Involvement in Afghanistan," November 7, 1996, Confidential, 2 pp. [Excised]

Similar to the October 22, 1996 Intelligence Information Report (IIR), this IIR reiterates how "Pakistans ISI is heavily involved in Afghanistan," but also details different roles various ISI officers play in Afghanistan. Stating that Pakistan uses sizable numbers of its Pashtun-based Frontier Corps in Taliban-run operations in Afghanistan, the document clarifies that, "these Frontier Corps elements are utilized in command and control; training; and when necessary - combat. Elements of Pakistans regular army force are not used because the army is predominantly Punjabi, who have different features as compared to the Pashtun and other Afghan tribes."

According to the document, Pakistans Frontier Corps provide some of the combat training in Kandahar or Herat provided to Pakistani madrassa students that come to Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban. The parents of these students apparently know nothing regarding their childs military involvement with the Taliban "until their bodies are brought back to Pakistan."

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Document 18 - Islama 09517

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad) Cable, "Afghanistan: Taliban Deny They Are Sheltering HUA Militants, Usama bin Laden," November 12, 1996, Confidential, 7pp.

U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Thomas W. Simons Jr. and the Talibans "Acting Foreign Minister," Mullah Ghaus discuss the presence of Osama bin Laden and Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA), Kashmiri-based anti-India militants training in Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan. Responding to media reports that HUA militants are training in "two camps vacated by "Afghan Arab" militants in Afghanistans Paktia (Khost) province near the Afghan-Pakistan border, and intelligence reports that bin Laden "is in or near the Taliban-controlled city of Jalalabad, in Nangarhar province," Ambassador Simons expresses strong concern that the Taliban seemingly are developing policies to shelter terrorists. Ghaus flatly denies that HUA militants or bin Laden are in Taliban territory, "There are no foreigners in Khost province - only Taliban," and "bin Laden was invited to Afghanistan by (Hezb-I-Islami Leader and ousted Prime Minister) Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar left Kabul when we took it over. Maybe bin Laden went with him," "I assure you that [bin Laden] is not in areas controlled by Taliban administration. This is an objective of our movement."

Ghaus insinuates that the Taliban would be more willing to do something about terrorist entities operating in Afghanistan if the U.S. provided them with funding.

According to The 9/11 Commission Report (pp. 63-65) when bin Laden first returned to Afghanistan in May 1996 he maintained ties to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as well as other non-Taliban and anti-Taliban political entities. However by September 1996 when Jalalabad and Kabul had both fallen to the Taliban, bin Laden had solidified his ties to the Taliban and was operating in Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan. Furthermore the 9/11 Commission Report observes that, "it is unlikely that Bin Laden could have returned to Afghanistan had Pakistan disapproved. The Pakistani military intelligence service probably had advance knowledge of his coming, and its officers may have facilitated his travel… Pakistani intelligence officers reportedly introduced bin Laden to Taliban leaders in Kandahar, their main base of power, to aid his reassertion of control over camps near Khowst, out of an apparent hope that he would now expand the camps and make them available for training Kashmiri militants."

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Document 19 - Islama 009994

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad) Cable, "Afghanistan: British Journalist Visits Site of Training Camps; HUA Activity Alleged," November 26, 1996, Confidential, 4pp.

An unnamed British journalist reports to the U.S. Embassy that her visit to two terrorist training camps in Paktia province, near the Afghan-Pakistan border on November 14, 1996 revealed that both camps appear occupied, and her "Taliban sources" advise that "one of the camps is occupied by Harakat-ul-Ansar (HUA) militants," the Pakistan-based Kashmiri terrorist organization. Whether or not HUAs presence in training camps in Afghanistan is known or supported by Islamabad or Pakistani intelligence is not commented on in the document. The reporters sources inform her that the other camp is occupied by "assorted foreigners, including Chechens, Bosnian Muslims, as well as Sudanese and other Arabs."

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Document 20 - Islama 00436

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad) Cable, "Scenesetter for Your Visit to Islamabad: Afghan Angle," January 16, 1997, Confidential, 12pp. [Excised]

A background document for an upcoming visit of Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robin Raphel, the cable summarizes the political and military state of affairs in Afghanistan. Pages 7-9 address Afghan-Pakistan relations, concisely observing that "for Pakistan, a Taliban-based government in Kabul would be as good as it can get in Afghanistan." As Pashtuns opposed to India, the Taliban permit Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA) the Kashmir-based militant anti-Indian group to use Taliban-controlled military training camps in Khost near the Afghan-Pakistan border. The document observes that Islamabad probably understands that supporting the Taliban increases the strength of extremist Muslim political movements within Pakistan, but "probably believes the Taliban will eventually become more moderate," and considers the overall extremist issue "a problem for another day."

Regarding support, "Pakistani aid to the Taliban is more significant and probably less malign than most imagine." Military aid is probably moderate, "consistent with the Pakistani militarys budget realities," and that military advice "may be there, but is probably not all that significant since the Taliban do quite well on their own." On the other hand, "Pakistani political and diplomatic support is certainly significant," as sources have informed the U.S. Embassy that Islamabad plays an "overbearing role in planning and even executing Taliban political and diplomatic initiatives." Pakistan also grants the "Taliban free access to the Pakistani market to buy whatever they want, including subsidized wheat flour. This is an enormous advantage over the other factions" fighting for political control in Afghanistan.

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Document 21 - Islama 01873

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad) Cable, "Official Informal for SA Assistant Secretary Robin Raphel and SA/PAB," March 10, 1997, Confidential, 13pp. [Excised]

Updating Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Robin Raphel on the situation in Afghanistan, the Embassy advises that fighting is more than likely to continue as Iran and Russia continue to supply Ahmed Shah Massoud in the north, while "Pakistan appears to be reviewing its Afghan policy, but important agencies, such as ISID [Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate], still appear committed to and even supportive of a Taliban victory.

The Taliban continue to protect Osama bin Laden, although "some high-level Taliban say they would send him to Saudi Arabia if it would accept him." Furthermore, the Taliban "appear to have worked out some sort of deal - perhaps brokered by the ISID - that allows Harakat-ul-Ansar, the Kashmiri militant group, to use camps in Khost, and they have not followed through on a promise to allow a U.S. team to visit these camps."

The Embassy recommends a policy of "limited engagement to try to "moderate and modernize" the Taliban." Full engagement would be against American interests as it would associate Washington with a "movement we find repugnant," however a failure to engage the Taliban at all would further isolate Afghanistan.

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Document 22 - Islama 02001

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "Afghanistan and Sectarian Violence Contribute to a Souring of Pakistans Relations with Iran," March 13, 1997, Confidential, 16 pp. [Excised]

Discussing the detrimental impact of Pakistans support for the Taliban movement in Afghanistan on Pakistans relationship with Iran, American officials conclude "the best policy for the U.S. is to steer clear of direct involvement in the disputes between the two countries [Pakistan and Iran], and to continue to work for peace in Afghanistan." Providing a history of strained relations between the nations over Afghanistan, the document comments that "Pakistan has consistently denied that it is the Talibans godfather, although GOP [Government of Pakistan] officials in private sometimes acknowledge that they have close links and are providing them with foodstuffs and fuel."

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Document 23 - Islama 06882

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "Afghanistan: Pakistanis to Regulate Wheat and Fuel Trade to Gain Leverage Over Taliban," August 13, 1997, Confidential, 9 pp. [Excised]

Partially as an effort to gain more leverage over the Taliban, but also as a means to restrain drug trafficking and increase revenue, Pakistan has placed stricter regulations on wheat and fuel trade with Afghanistan and plan to demand hard currency in exchange for wheat instead of accepting "powder," or drug payments. Although Pakistani officials claim that these new regulations are an effort to exert greater influence the Taliban, Pakistan continues to unilaterally back the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. U.S. officials inquiring into the selling of Pakistani wheat in areas of Afghanistan not controlled by the Taliban are told, "the GOP [Government of Pakistan] is only dealing with the Taliban," and that Pakistans "objective is not political, but economic and narcotics-related."

Note: the document refers to regulating wheat and POL trade. POL stands for Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants.

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Document 24 - Islama 007343

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "Afghanistan: [Excised] Briefs Ambassador on his Activities. Pleads for Greater Activism by U.N." August 27, 1997, Confidential, 5 pp. [Excised]

(Previously released and included in previous Archive posting, "The Taliban File Part III", March 19, 2004.)

The source for this information remains excised throughout the document, but describes efforts to encourage multi-ethnic negotiations in Afghanistan that would work towards establishing a durable peace in the region. Pakistan urges the U.S. to back the "vacant seat policy," regarding Afghan representation at the U.N., and Taliban representatives Mullah Hassan and Mullah Jalil promise the source that if U.N. Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi returns to Afghanistan, Mullah Omar will meet with him, but due to "the schedule" he was not able to meet with Brahimi during his most recent trip.

According to the source, the Massoud-led anti-Taliban alliance is weak and "if the Taliban would simply cease all military activity, the alliance would fall apart." He later adds that the Taliban will successfully take over the country, but "when faced with the challenge of governing the entire country, [the Taliban] will yield to technocrats."

U.S. Ambassador Thomas W. Simons admits that "Pakistan has a privileged association with the Taliban,. The Ambassador advises, "Our good relations with Pakistan associate us willy-nilly, so we need to be extremely careful about Pakistani proposals that draw us even closer. For, at the second level, Pakistan is a party rather than just a mediator." Regarding Pakistani aid to the Taliban, the Ambassador shows little interest in discussing the accuracy of the 20 million rupee estimate given by the ISI, responding that such a figure "did not include access to Pak wheat and POL [Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants], or the trucks and busses full of adolescent mujahid crossing the frontier shouting Allahu Akbar and going into the line with a day or two of training."

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Document 25 - United Nations Outgoing Code Cable - Special Mission U.N.SMA (U.N. Special Mission to Afghanistan), "Present Pakistani Initiatives in Afghanistan" October 30, 1997, [Classification Unknown], 3 pp.

(Previously released and included in previous Archive posting, "The Taliban File Part III", March 19, 2004.)

Head of U.N. special mission to Afghanistan (U.N.SMA) Norbert Holl and Pakistans special envoy on Afghanistan, Iftikhar Murshid, discuss a meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Mullah Rabbani, a senior-ranking Taliban official. The Prime Minister gets Rabbani to agree to a collective meeting of the various warring factions in Afghanistan, and declares it a breakthrough as Rabbani didnt insist on addressing the POW issue before meeting. Murshid is less optimistic, as "the POW issue had always come up in the final instance and that therefore omitting it at this time should not be overestimated."

Pakistan is pressuring the U.S. and U.N. to vacate the anti-Taliban alliance from Afghanistans U.N. seat. Holl feels Pakistan would never agree to an oil embargo against Afghanistan, even though such an embargo is a proposed step intended to compel cooperation among the Afghan factions, something Pakistan claims to support. Although the Talibans supplies of POL, (Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant supplies) are subsidized by Saudi Arabia, Holl believes "Pakistan would never agree to impede the POL transit." Rather than isolate the Taliban in order to endorse compromise, "GOP [Government of Pakistan] would sign a new contract with the Taliban today, 30 October, for the supply of 600,000 tons of wheat."

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Document 26 - Islama 01805

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "Afghanistan: [Excised] Describes Pakistans Current Thinking" March 9, 1998, Confidential, 9 pp. [Excised]

(Previously released and included in previous Archive posting, "The Taliban File Part III", March 19, 2004.)

In a March 9, 1998 meeting between the U.S. Embassy in Islamabads Deputy Chief of Mission Alan Eastham and a source who appears to be Pakistan Foreign Ministry official Iftikhar Murshed, the officials review several Afghan-related issues including U.S. concerns over Osama bin Ladens recent fatwa. The U.S. embassy is concerned over Pakistans connection to bin Ladens statement, as the fatwa was signed by Fazlur Rahman Khalil, a leader in Pakistans Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA).

Even though the source claims "Pakistan has little leverage over the Taliban," he provides the State Department with some of its first details on how "Pakistan was in the business of providing arms-related supplies to the Taliban… [and] could refuse to provide the Taliban fuel since the Taliban load up their planes in Pakistan." Pakistan provides support to the Taliban, but has little, if any control over their actions. "If Pakistan held up wheat consignments to the Taliban, the Taliban would say what the hell! We can smuggle enough wheat into Afghanistan to feed ourselves."

According to the source, Afghanistans border with Pakistan can be controlled by Pakistan if the Pakistani government chooses to do so, as "Pakistan, in the past, has shown that it can control this border. In fact, there are only just over 40 "jeepable" border crossing points. These points could be monitored if the Baluchistan and the North-West frontier provincial governments got serious about the issue of smuggling."

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Document 27 - Islama 004546

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad) Cable, "Afghanistan: [Excised] Criticizes GOPs Afghan Policy; Says It Is Letting Policy Drift," June 16, 1998, Confidential, 2 pp

(Previously released and included in previous Archive posting, "The Taliban File Part III", March 19, 2004.)

A Pakistan government source who is "a longtime and bitter political opponent of [Pakistani Prime Minister] Nawaz Sharif" laments on the lack of a firm "sense of direction" in Pakistans Afghan policy and the failure of the Pakistani government to take serious efforts to control its border with Afghanistan. According to the source, who appears to be former Interior Minister Nasrullah Babar, "the Bhutto governments efforts in regard to Afghanistan could be criticized on many fronts, but "at least the policy was coherent - we tried to build the Taliban up and then tried to push them to negotiations (in October 1996) after they captured Kabul." Under the "Nawaz Sharif government, there has never been a sustained effort to bring the factions to the bargaining table."

The source "personally supported the deployment of ISI officers operating out of the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul, and from Herat, Kandahar, and the Jalalabad consulates." By operating out of these diplomatic posts, the government of Pakistan could better monitor the activities of the ISI in Afghanistan. He suggests that ties between Pakistani and Afghan Pashtuns are strengthening, which may pose a threat to the continued sovereignty of Afghan government in Kabul.

Although the source is biased against Nawaz Sharif the document notes that his points nevertheless "reverberate because they have been underscored by more neutral observers who agree that the present government is letting its Afghanistan policy drift. The result is confusion as evidenced by the GOPs [Government of Pakistans] declaratory policy, which is in favor of negotiations, and a countervailing policy of ISI support for the Taliban."

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Document 28 - Islama 05010

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "Bad News on Pak Afghan Policy: GOP Support for the Taliban Appears to be Getting Stronger" July 1, 1998, Confidential, 2 pp. [Excised]

(Previously released and included in previous Archive posting, "The Taliban File Part III", March 19, 2004.)

According to a variety of Pakistani officials and journalists, including Ahmed Rashid, Pakistan has "regressed to a point where it is as hard-line as ever in favor of the Taliban." Pakistani government officials have given up "the pretense of supporting the U.N. effort," and have become unabashedly pro-Taliban. The Pakistani government, including the Prime Minister, recently approved six million dollars in additional aid to the Taliban over the next six months. The U.S. considers the additional funding a regressive step as the "trend-line had generally been in a more positive direction."

Rashid reports that he heard comments from Pakistani officials arguing that "the Taliban are capable of taking over all of Afghanistan; their regime is qualitively (sic) better for the Afghan people than that of their opponents; [and] the outside world should try to understand the Taliban mind-set before condemning them on such issues as human rights etc.." Such opinions are echoed by another Pakistani source whose name is excised in the document, "If it were not for the war, the Taliban would be making progress on womens issues. They would be making such progress now, but the U.N. has failed to help them, despite Taliban requests." The same source also commends the Taliban for bringing stability to Afghanistan while explaining how "the Northern Alliance is totally unreliable. They refuse to keep their word."

The cable speculates the spike in pro-Taliban Pakistani feeling can be attributed to the political fallout of recent nuclear testing and increased regional tension. These developments have increased Pakistans need for a pro-Pakistan, anti-India regime in Kabul.

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Document 29 - Islama 05535

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "In Bilateral Focussed (sic) on Afghanistan, GOP Reviews Pak/Iran Effort; A/S Inderfurth Expresses U.S. Concerns About the Taliban" July 23, 1998, Confidential, 16 pp. [Excised]

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Karl Inderfurth meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shamshad Ahmed discusses joint Pakistan/Iran talks on the peace effort in Afghanistan and Pakistans role in Afghanistan. During the meeting, "Ahmed denied that the GOP [Government of Pakistan] is providing anything but "oil and wheat" to the Taliban. In addition, he asserted that the type of assistance that was given by Pakistan to the Taliban was also provided [to] the northern factions."

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Document 30 - Islama 005964

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "Afghanistan: Evidence Not There to Prove Assertions that Pak Troops Have Been Deployed to Assist Taliban in the North," August 6, 1998, Confidential, 5 pp. [Excised]

There is no evidence to support claims that recent Taliban military victories are the result Pakistani troop participation in Taliban battles. Members of the Northern Alliance told the U.S. Embassy that it "was inconceivable that the Taliban could do it all on their own," but U.S. efforts to substantiate these claims failed to produce supporting evidence. Although the participation of large numbers of Pakistani troops seems unlikely, it remains possible that Pakistani military advisors were involved in training Taliban fighters. Taliban ranks furthermore continue to be filled with Pakistani nationals (an estimated 20-40 percent of Taliban soldiers are Pakistani according to the document), which further solidifies Pakistan-Taliban relations, even though this does not indicate not outward or official Pakistani government support. Osama bin Laden is mentioned as supporting pro-Taliban Arab fighters from an office in Herat.

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Document 31 - Islama 07242

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "Afghanistan: Tensions Reportedly Mount Within Taliban as Ties With Saudi Arabia Deteriorate Over Bin Ladin," September 28, 1998, Secret, 8 pp. [Excised]

Primarily discussing the Talibans firm opposition to surrender Osama bin Laden and Saudi Arabias recently failed attempts to negotiate bin Ladens expulsion from Afghanistan, the document concludes with the following thoughts from U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan William Milam, "If Pakistan - the Talibans closest international supporter - throws in its weight behind Saudi Arabia on the bin Laden issue, the pressure on the Taliban may become unbearable. As of this time, Pakistan has not yet made its position clear."

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Document 32 - Islama 01320

U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, "Afghanistan: Taliban Seem to Have Less Funds and Supplies This Year, But the Problem Does Not Appear to be that Acute," February 17, 1999, Confidential, 2 pp. [Excised]

Suffering under sanctions imposed in response to nuclear weapons testing in May 1998, Pakistan has reduced aid to the Taliban, although sources indicate Pakistan "continued to write a check worth a million or so dollars every couple of months." This decrease in support is not a political move by Pakistan, but appears to be a purely budgetary decision. Unlike certain other documents on Pakistan aid to the Taliban, this cable reports that there is little evidence of direct military aid from Pakistan to the Taliban, as Pakistan only admits to sending flour and fuel.

Additionally Saudi Arabia, concerned over the Talibans sheltering of Osama bin Laden, has been successful in reducing private Saudi donations flowing into Afghanistan. However the Taliban, through their access to drug trafficking, income from transit taxes, and continued, although limited support from Pakistan as well as the "capture of a fair amount of equipment during their successful late 1998 military campaign," does not seem to be in any immediate trouble from the recent decrease in funding from Pakistan. The cable also mentions that Osama "bin Ladin has also provided the Taliban with some money, but probably not enough to make a significant difference in their case balance."

The Talibans main opponent, Ahmed Shah Masoud continues to be very well funded, from Russian, Uzbek and Tajik sources and although the Taliban show no immediate sign of weakening from the drop in funding, U.S. Ambassador Milam notes that "slight variations in funding and supplies can mean the difference between victory and defeat" in such small-scale, low-tech conflicts such as the war between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban.

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Document 33

Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Karl F. Inderfurth to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, "Pushing for Peace in Afghanistan," March 25, 1999 [approx], Secret, 6pp.

The document portrays a slightly stronger Pakistan-Taliban alliance than previous declassified State Department materials. Pakistan not only provides aid to the Taliban, but "will continue to seek and support a Taliban military victory." Pakistan is an isolated country in international dealings on Afghanistan. The UNs informal "Six-Plus-Two" group overseeing efforts to diffuse the conflict in Afghanistan includes the six nations with borders along Afghanistan - China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - as well as the two mediating powers Russia and the U.S., but according to the document may as well be changed to an ""Eight Minus One" (Pakistan) process, emphasizing the isolation of Pakistan."

Furthermore, "Pakistan has not been responsive to [American] requests that it use its full influence on the Taliban surrender of Bin Ladin." The Department believes "that Pakistan can do more, including cutting POL supplies that mostly flow into Afghanistan from Pakistan." "Continued Pakistani resistance and/or duplicity" may lead the U.S. to push for U.N. Security Council involvement, or for the inclusion of India in the "Six-Plus-Two" negotiations.

Current U.S. policy towards Afghanistan consists of supporting diplomatic approaches such as "Six-Plus-Two," and doing what is possible to moderate the behavior of the Taliban. "At the end of the day, we may have to consider the Taliban to be an intrinsic enemy of the U.S. and a new international pariah state. We are not there yet and we do not want to be there. We will continue our policy of trying to mitigate Taliban behavior where and when its ill advised policies cross our path."

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Document 34 - State 185645

U.S. Department of State, Cable, "Pakistan Support for Taliban," Sept. 26, 2000, Secret, 4pp. [Excised]

Responding to reports that Islamabad may be allowing the Taliban to use territory in Pakistan for military operations, in September 2000 an alarmed U.S. Department of State observes that "while Pakistani support for the Taliban has been long-standing, the magnitude of recent support is unprecedented."

In response Washington orders the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad to immediately confront Pakistani officials on the issue and to advise Islamabad that the U.S. has "seen reports that Pakistan is providing the Taliban with materiel, fuel, funding, technical assistance and military advisors. [The Department] also understand[s] that large numbers of Pakistani nationals have recently moved into Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban, apparently with the tacit acquiescence of the Pakistani government." Additional reports indicate that direct Pakistani involvement in Taliban military operations has increased.

In an effort to promote a cease-fire and discourage Pakistan from continuing its efforts to support a military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan by arming the Taliban, Washington candidly states that the U.S. will not accept a Taliban military victory in Afghanistan, but clarifies that the U.S. is "not divorced from reality," recognizing that a solution must be found through a broad-based peace process which includes all relevant Afghan political factions, including the Taliban. The U.S. does not "believe that Masood is the answer."

Note: This document is cited in The 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter 6, Footnote 68 as "DOS cable, State 185645, "Concern that Pakistan is Stepping up Support to Talibans Military Campaign in Afghanistan," Sept. 26, 2000."

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Document 35

Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research Carl W. Ford, Jr. to Secretary of State Colin Powell, "Pakistan - Poll Shows Strong and Growing Public Support for Taleban," November 7, 2001, Unclassified, 3pp [Excised]

A poll compiled by the U.S. Department of States Bureau of Intelligence and Research after September 11, 2001, but before the commencement of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, shows the Pakistani public has become more pro-Taliban than it was before the September 11 attacks. As the Musharraf government begins to implement policies distancing Pakistan from its longstanding alliance with the Taliban, the Pakistani public is becoming more sympathetic to the Taliban.

 

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