Monday, June 14, 2010

The ISI-Afghan Taliban Link and the "Discovery" of Minerals in Afghanistan

Adding Fuel to Conspiracy Theories Along the Af-Pak Border
Asia Society, Jun 14, 2010

"Although the news item in today’s New York Times about the discovery of major mineral resources in Afghanistan may come as a surprise for Americans, it adds weight to a conspiracy theory long-held by many Afghans and Pakistanis: Many in the region believe that U.S. forces are there because of some hidden resources in Afghanistan! Hence, this news is likely to be interpreted in Pakistan and Pashtun-dominated areas of Afghanistan in a way that will increase anti-U.S. feelings,” says Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Fellow Hassan Abbas.

Separately, “the 'Af-Pak' scenario becomes more critical with a newly released report from the London School of Economics speculating about links between Pakistan's infamous intelligence organization ISI and the Afghan Taliban. The information is not new but the fact that a leading academic institution has published a paper on it adds credibility. However, most of the sources are not named, which lessens its credentials as well. If the report is to be believed then one can't help but deduce that ISI is more successful than all the major players in Afghanistan -- both regional and global. Pakistanis are unlikely to agree to this because for them it raises a major question -- if ISI is so 'smart' in pursuing its agenda in Afghanistan then why is it consistently failing in tackling the Pakistani Taliban who are playing havoc in Pakistan.”

Say what? Afghanistan has $1 trillion in untapped mineral resources? - Foreign Policy

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