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Posted: 11/1/2001 2:06:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/1/2001 2:21:09 PM EDT by Delmarksman]
[url]www.washtimes.com/national/20011031-23126172.htm[/url] Pakistan sends supplies to Taliban By Bill Gertz THE WASHINGTON TIMES The Taliban militia is receiving military and other supplies covertly from Pakistan despite the Islamabad government's backing for American military operations, according to U.S. officials. The military goods, including ammunition and fuel, are being sent with the help of elements of the Pakistani government, said officials familiar with intelligence reports of the transfers. Officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the trade is approved by officials of the Pakistani military and the Inter-Services Intelligence service (ISI). The ISI, in particular, is said to have close ties with the Taliban regime. The trade is said to take place at night by trucks. The goods travel from Quetta to the Pakistani border town of Chaman and then on to Kandahar, a known Taliban stronghold. "There are two border control regimes: One before sundown and one after sundown," said one official. The trade violates a resolution by the United Nations imposed in December that bars arms transfers to Afghanistan or the ruling Taliban militia. The continuing support for the Taliban by Pakistan's intelligence service highlights the difficulties faced by Islamabad in supporting U.S. military operations against the Taliban and al Qaeda terrorist training camps. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf several weeks ago fired ISI chief Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed who was viewed as insufficiently loyal. Gen. Musharraf said during the recent visit to Pakistan by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell that his government would provide intelligence, overflight rights and logistical support "as long as the operation" in Afghanistan goes on. It could not be learned whether the illicit trade is approved by the Pakistan government or is taking place behind the back of Gen. Musharraf. A Pakistani Embassy spokesman denied the government was involved in any arms shipments or supplies to the Taliban. "This is certainly not true," said Mian Asad Hayauddin, the spokesman. Mr. Hayauddin said, however, that the border with Afghanistan is porous, especially in the southern area and that local tribes are known to conduct cross-border trade. Asked about foreign military supplies to the Taliban, a senior defense official said recently, "We know of no significant aid organized aid from a foreign state." The official would not answer when asked to detail the aid. --------------------------------------- Playing both sides of the Quarter 'eh.
Link Posted: 11/1/2001 2:06:58 PM EDT
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