US launched air attack inside Pak after verifying ISI-Taliban link

22 02 2009

: Book22 Feb 2009, 0854 hrs IST, PTI
Source: Times of India

NEW DELHI: The US national security agency (NSA) has intercepted messages to indicate that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence was in”complete coordination” with the Taliban, according to a US journalist.
New York Times’ White House correspondent David E Sanger has claimed in his latest book that the US decision to launch air attacks inside Pakistan’s western borders was taken after “one such high-level conversation was intercepted” in which a speaker said the Taliban was a “strategic asset” for Pakistan.

Excerpts of the book ‘The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the challenges to American power’ were published by Pakistani newspaper The News.The daily said former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf called a press conference recently to “repeatedly deny” allegations in the book that he had held a series of parleys with slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto about her security, following which she returned to Pakistan.The book also claimed that NSA had intercepted messages indicating ISI officers of helping Taliban in planning a big bomb attack in Afghanistan although the target was unclear.

After some days, Kandahar jail was attacked by Taliban and hundreds of their militants were freed, it said, adding that the US decision to invade Pakistani territories was taken “after CIA reached a conclusion that the ISI was absolutely in complete coordination with the Taliban”.According to the Pakistani daily, Sanger also wrote that the telephones of all senior army officers, including its chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, were bugged by NSA and CIA.The author “claims that American intelligence agencies were intercepting telephonic conversations of army officers and the decision to attack Pakistan through drones was taken after one such high-level conversation was intercepted claiming the Taliban as a ‘strategic asset’ for Pakistan”, it said.

The US scribe “seemed to have been given direct access to the secret record of several meetings held at the White House before George Bush left on January 20,” the daily said.The book said NSA had picked up intercepts like someone giving advance warning of what was coming to Taliban when the Pakistan Army was getting ready to hit places in tribal areas.According to ‘The News’, the book also claimed that the Americans were in “full knowledge of the facts on the ground and they started attacking territories inside Pakistan as they thought the Pakistan army and intelligence agencies were no more interested in fighting the Taliban.”It also speaks of a two-star general as saying that supporting Taliban was absolutely necessary as “Indians will rein when Americans pull out”.

The Pakistani daily said it had sought a detailed response from the Inter Services Public Relations to its report and promised to give it “equal and similar space”.

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