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Published on 05 Nov 2007 | over 10 years ago

Secret Government, 2001 - Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) has been accused of essentially running the Taliban, but the link is strongly denied.

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"It is a big joke in the regular army that many of the ISI officers are more Taliban than the Taliban," comments author Ahmed Rashid. In Islamabad, we come to the sprawling headquarters of ISI.

"It is a big joke in the regular army that many of the ISI officers are more Taliban than the Taliban," comments author Ahmed Rashid. In Islamabad, we come to the sprawling headquarters of ISI. Behind these walls lies a hidden government -- nominally under state command, but in reality dictating the terms of Pakistan's most sensitive policies -- Afghanistan, Kashmir and nuclear weapons. They have also been instrumental in bringing the Taliban to power. "Almost immediately after the Soviet departure, the ISI started running the Taliban's political and military structure," observes Ahmed Rashid. Although Pakistan still denies direct involvement with the Taliban, evidence is now emerging that shows clear links between the two. While General Musharraf has signed up on the side of the US, the ISI has other ideas. "A few days after September 11, several officers went back in again to advise the Taliban on how to prepare military defences," reveals Rashid. Already, Musharraf has sacked his ISI boss for encouraging the Taliban to resist the US. The US must be asking with friends like the ISI, who needs enemies?

Produced by ABC Australia. Ref - 1183

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