The Pakistanis have always claimed that the Taliban insurgency was a ‘home-grown’ rebellion against foreign invaders, that is the Americans, British and rest of NATO and their puppets in Afghanistan, the Karzai government. Only recently, (16 February, 2012) a Taliban spokesman was quoted by CNN as saying the Taliban had told the Americans they refused to discuss a peace agreement with the Karzai government precisely because they considered them as ‘puppets’.
In my newly-published book, War Against the Taliban, I show how the Taliban are indeed the “puppets” of Pakistan and its intelligence service, the ISI.
I quote Matt Waldman, a British analyst, who in 2010 interviewed a large number of Taliban and Haqqani commanders who had fled Afghanistan after the American invasion of 2001 and sought refuge in Pakistan. Later pushed by the ISI they came back to fight in the insurgency against the West.
One man realised very clearly what was happening: Francesc Vendrell, former UN and EU Special Representative for Afghanistan in Kabul from 2001 to 2008. He tried to warn both the British and Americans about the Taliban revival – masterminded by the ISI – which was already visible in 2002, 2003, and 2004, he says, but no one paid any attention. Even in 2006, Dr Vendrell says, when the British were deploying more than 3,000 troops to Helmand, ‘everyone knew’ British soldiers were being killed by Taliban ‘who were either linked to Pakistan or based in Pakistan’. It was not until 2007, Vendrell says, that the British and Americans realized what was really happening…’
Too busy in Iraq, the Americans and British simply turned a blind eye to what was happening under our noses in Quetta and elsewhere.
Read more in my book War Against the Taliban: Why It All Went Wrong in Aghanistan, Bloomsbury, London.