Pakistan and the Taliban

At Border, Signs of Pakistani Role in Taliban Surge – New York Times

The most explosive question about the Taliban resurgence here along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is this: Have Pakistani intelligence agencies been promoting the Islamic insurgency?

The government of Pakistan vehemently rejects the allegation and insists that it is fully committed to help American and NATO forces prevail against the Taliban militants who were driven from power in Afghanistan in 2001.

Western diplomats in both countries and Pakistani opposition figures say that Pakistani intelligence agencies — in particular the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence — have been supporting a Taliban restoration, motivated not only by Islamic fervor but also by a longstanding view that the jihadist movement allows them to assert greater influence on Pakistan’s vulnerable western flank.

Read the whole article, it is instructive. Most South Asians (including Pakistanis) would say “D’uh”! We’ve known this for years! It’s considered a well known fact that the Pakistan’s Intelligence Agency ISI helped create the Taliban with US assistance and coordinated the Mujahideen resistance in Afghanistan. Read this article from 2001 for a good summary.

My point is not to discuss the rightness or wrongness of these actions. Most competent countries will do whatever is in their best interests. Everyone’s known this piece of information about the ISI for years, and the U.S government knows this as well. It is in every country’s best interest to be as hypocritical/devious as possible in the pursuit of foreign policy. 

But  it is incumbent on any newspaper covering the government to not participate in this hypocrisy. The NY times writes three pages on the Taliban without providing any background on U.S involvement. It is an article of faith among South Asians like me that American mass media is an organ of U.S diplomacy and/or propaganda. Articles like these only confirm this hypothesis.

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