Taliban Attacks Itself With Pakistani Help

Pakistan’s ISI (their CIA/military intelligence organization) is accused of recently arranging the murder of Afghan Taliban who were willing to negotiate a peace deal with the Afghan government. This gruesome act became apparent over the last week as information came from surviving members of the “peace faction” and kin of the murdered men trickled into public view. It didn’t take analysts long to conclude that about 25 Taliban (several leaders and their immediate aides) were killed last month by other Taliban, who opposed any negotiations. The killers were aided by the ISI, which created the Taliban two decades ago and have sought to control this Islamic radical group ever since. The ISI has been able to maintain considerable influence over the Afghan Taliban, because the leadership of that group was provided with sanctuary across the border from Kandahar (the home of the original Taliban) and protection from American UAV missile attacks.

In contrast, the ISI has lost control of the Pakistani branch of the Taliban, which is constantly under attack by American UAVs, although it still has a sanctuary (from Pakistani attacks) in North Waziristan.

The ISI influence on the Afghan Taliban is no secret and is yet another reason why most Afghans hate the Taliban. Afghans in general see Pakistan as a meddlesome and hostile neighbor. Pakistan, in turn, sees Afghanistan as a client state, one that should follow the lead of its more powerful neighbor. This attitude is not very popular in Afghanistan, and even many of Afghan Taliban reluctantly accepts aid from the ISI.