In quotes: Excerpts from Nato report on Taliban
- 1 February 2012
- From the section Asia
A secret Nato report seen by the BBC suggests the Taliban in Afghanistan are being directly helped by the Pakistani security service (ISI).
Here are excerpts from the report, based on interrogations of more than 4,000 captured Taliban, al-Qaeda, foreign fighters and civilians.
"Reflections from detainees indicate that Pakistan's manipulation of Taliban senior leadership continues unabatedly."
"In the last year there has been unprecedented interest, even from GIRoA [Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan] members, in joining the the insurgent cause. Afghan civilians frequently prefer Taliban governance over GIRoA, usually as a result of government corruption, ethnic bias and lack of connection with local religious and tribal leaders. The effectiveness of Taliban governance allows for increased recruitment rates which, subsequently, bolsters their ability to replace losses."
"ISI is thoroughly aware of Taliban activities and the whereabouts of all senior Taliban personnel. The Haqqani family, for example, resides immediately west of the ISI office at the airfield in Miram Shah, Pakistan."
"While they [the Taliban] are weary of war, they see little hope of negotiated peace. Despite numerous setbacks, surrender is far from their collective mindset. For the moment, they believe that continuing the fight and expanding Taliban governance are their only viable course of action."
"Through the use of neutral observers and judges who report only to higher-level commanders, the Taliban leadership quickly identifies issues and replaces leaders. In rare cases Taliban leaders have already gone as far as to expel or imprison their own members."
"As opposed to years past, detainees have become more confident, not only in their potential to win, but the virtue of their cause."
"Detainees from throughout Afghanistan report that popular support for the insurgence in terms of recruitment and donations increased within the last year."
"The Taliban leadership controls nearly all insurgent activity in Afghanistan. Outside groups such as al-Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and others must receive permission from Taliban leaders prior to conducting operations on Afghan territory. Despite public statements suggesting distance between the Taliban and international extremists, no formal split has yet occurred. However many with the Taliban appear prepared to enforce a separation from these groups should they receive orders from the Taliban central shura in Quetta, Pakistan."
"Because Sirajuddin [Haqqani] remains in hiding, his younger brother Badruddin co-ordinates all military operations for the Haqqani network. The group has become highly centralised around Badruddin and very little can occur with his knowledge or consent."
"Senior Taliban representatives, such as Nasiruddin Haqqani, maintain residences in the immediate vicinity of ISI headquarters in Islamabad, Pakistan."
Pakistan 'knows everything'
"The Taliban leadership designated Kabul City a 'free area', in which any commander can conduct operations without prior co-ordination with local command."
"A senior al-Qaeda commander in Kunar province said: 'Pakistan knows everything. They control everything. I can't [expletive] on a tree in Kunar [province] without them watching. The Taliban are not Islam. The Taliban are Islamabad."
"The Taliban continue to openly raise the majority of their revenue through donations. Collectors travel door to door throughout Pakistan requesting donations, without disguising their Taliban affiliation."
"Once Isaf [International Security Assistance Force] is no longer a factor, the Taliban consider victory inevitable."
"Almost without exception Taliban members do not receive salaries or other financial incentives for their work."
"The effectiveness of Taliban governance allows for increased recruitment rates which, subsequently, bolsters their ability to replace losses."
"Taliban leaders anticipate personnel losses. Commanders and fighters are easily replaced, at least initially, with minimal impact on operations. After eliminating a commander, Isaf will often switch focus to other areas and targeting lines. While this type of targeting may remove specific insurgents from the battlefield, it will typically have a negligible effect on insurgent operations overall."
"The narcotics trade provides funds to Taliban operations, though the nature of this process is widely misunderstood. The Taliban does not officially encourage nor discourage narcotics production, and it does not play a direct role in the farming, smuggling, refining or distribution process. However the Taliban regularly collects a percentage of zakat [donation] from any individual involved in any stage of narcotics production. This zakat may be collected in Afghanis, Pakistani rupees or frequently, raw opium or hashish."
"A detainee from Parwan province said: 'This year, more funds were given to the Taliban to conduct operations than in any previous year.'"