Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pakistani Army Fighting Alongside Taliban

British officials are being accused of covering up the death of a Pakistani army officer killed by British troops last year during a raid on a Taliban strongpoint in Afghanistan's Sangin valley. When soldiers entered the compound they found an ID card identifying one of the Taliban dead as a Pakistani officer.

The Times of London reports that this was the first concrete proof of Pakistani military participation in the Taliban insurgency. Afghan president Karzai is said to have been furious at the British coverup.

The newspaper quotes an American marine officer as saying that US forces have been in several gunfights with Pakistani forces:

"Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Nash, who commanded an embedded training team in eastern Afghanistan from June 2007 to March this year, told the Army Times that Pakistani forces flew repeated helicopter missions into Afghanistan to resupply a Taliban base camp during a fierce battle in June last year. Nash said: “We were on the receiving end of Pakistani military D-30 [a howitzer]. On numerous occasions Afghan border police checkpoints and observation posts were attacked by Pakistani military forces.”


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Someone, somewhere, is looking for a reason to go into Pakistan. A "loosely kept secret" alleges proof of Pakistani activity in the area.

Would be just great to run that pipeline right down through Khazakstan, Afghanistan, and into the Indian Ocean via Pakistan, huh?

Real_PHV_Mentarch said...

Holy crap, MoS!

Any corroborating sources about this? I guess I better start digging for this too ...

If the conflict escalates to fully implicates Pakistan ... (/shudder)

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Mentarch. This is from the Times of London although there have been the odd reference to the same sort of thing - Pakistani forces on the border firing on our helos inside Afghanistan, etc. - for some time.
From everything I've learned about the Pakistani military, it's all wheels within wheels. For example various departments have huge economic interests in Pakistan. Then there's the inevitable political jousting and, of course, the infamous ISI which is regularly mentioned as playing both sides in aiding the Talibs.
India is obviously gaming Afghanistan to keep the Paks nervous and that, in turn, keeps the ISI devoted to keeping the Taliban as their surrogate force in Afghanistan.
Remember there have been a couple of incidents where the Americans claimed to have fired on guerrilla forces inside Pakistan only to have Islamabad angrily claim the Yanks were firing on Pakistani army forces. Wheels within wheels. Ah, the Great Game.

The Mound of Sound said...

Interesting point Anon. One of the least mentioned stories in that region is the Baloch (Baluch) rebellion against Islamabad - and the role the US has played in supporting those insurgents (cash from what I've read). I suspect that's one reason why the Afghan Balochs don't seem to have joined the Pashtun Taliban in the south. The Baloch territory would represent the gateway for a pipeline to the Indian Ocean.