Pakistan denies Wikileaks reports it ‘aided Taliban’

Pakistan has strongly denied claims in leaked US military records that its intelligence agency, the ISI, backed the Taliban in the war in Afghanistan.

The whistleblower website Wikileaks published more than 90,000 leaked US military documents and gave advance access to three news publications.

The documents reportedly reveal Nato concerns that Pakistan and Iran are helping the Taliban.

They are also said to detail unreported killings of Afghan civilians.

The Pakistani ambassador in Washington said the “unprocessed” reports did “not reflect the current onground realities”.

“I think that the American leadership knows what Pakistan is doing,” Hassan Haqqani told the BBC.

“We have paid a price in treasure and in blood over the last two years. More Pakistanis have been killed by terrorists, including our military officers and intelligence service officials.

“We are not going to be distracted by something like this,” he said.

The huge cache of classified papers – described as one of the biggest leaks in US military history – was given to the New York Times, the Guardian and the German news magazine, Der Spiegel.

The White House has condemned the leaks as “irresponsible”.

The documents showed Pakistan actively collaborated with the Afghan insurgency, the New York Times reported.

The reports also suggest:

  • The Taliban has had access to portable heat-seeking missiles to shoot at aircraft.
  • A secret US unit of army and navy special forces has been engaged on missions to “capture or kill” top insurgents.
  • Many civilian casualties – caused by Taliban roadside bombs and Nato missions that went wrong – have gone unreported.

The BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall says that although the documents reveal no dramatic new insights, they show the difficulties of the war and the civilan death toll.

The reports offer an unvarnished and grim picture of the Afghan war, she adds.

In a statement, US National Security Adviser Gen James Jones said such classified information “could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security”.

He said the documents covered the period from 2004 to 2009, before President Obama “announced a new strategy with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan”.

‘Civilian deaths’

Another US official said that Wikileaks – which specialises in making public untraceable material from whistleblowers – was not an objective news outlet and described it as an organisation that opposes US policy in Afghanistan.

July 26, 2010 Post Under News update - Read More

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