Our good friends, the Pakistanis

If you haven't caught HBO's compelling documentary "Terror in Mumbai" I urge you to do so. It will make you really question whether our erstwhile ally Pakistan is, in fact, a mortal enemy.

At the moment, they are our bestest buddies. Congress recently authorized about $7.5 billion over the next 5 years in military and economic aid. We rely on them for the main supply line to our troops in Afghanistan. They occasionally share intel on al-Qaeda. They are a nominal democracy in a region where that form of government is very rare.

Having said all of that, the HBO doc makes it plain that the Pakistani government promotes terrorism. The group that carried out the Mumbai massacre - Lashkar-e-Taiba - is a creature of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and they operate freely in Pakistan with dozens of bases and thousands of members. The massacre was actually directed from inside Pakistan as cell phone intercepts prove.

Lashkar-e-Taiba now has global ambitions of jihad against the west. And now we discover that the Taliban's chief, Mullah Omar, is hiding in plain sight in the Pakistani city of Karachi - with the help of the ISI.

Eli Lake, Sara A. Carter and Barbara Slavin of the Washington Times have the exclusive report:

Mullah Mohammed Omar, the one-eyed leader of the Afghan Taliban, has fled a Pakistani city on the border with Afghanistan and found refuge from potential U.S. attacks in the teeming Pakistani port city of Karachi with the assistance of Pakistan's intelligence service, three current and former U.S. intelligence officials said.Mullah Omar, who hosted Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders when they plotted the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, had been residing in Quetta, where the Afghan Taliban shura -- or council -- had moved from Kandahar after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Two senior U.S. intelligence officials and one former senior CIA officer told The Washington Times that Mullah Omar traveled to Karachi last month after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He inaugurated a new senior leadership council in Karachi, a city that so far has escaped U.S. and Pakistani counterterrorism campaigns, the officials said.

The officials, two of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic, said Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the ISI, helped the Taliban leaders move from Quetta, where they were exposed to attacks by unmanned U.S. drones.

The development reinforces suspicions that the ISI, which helped create the Taliban in the 1990s to expand Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, is working against U.S. interests in Afghanistan as the Obama administration prepares to send more U.S. troops to fight there.

And we're giving these people $7.5 billion so they can harbor the man whose forces are killing our soldiers?

Our relationship with Pakistan is complicated for all the reasons I gave above. But surely we can insist that they not help our enemies in Afghanistan while taking American taxpayer's money. That would seem to be a minimum requirement for the continuation of that aid.

 


If you haven't caught HBO's compelling documentary "Terror in Mumbai" I urge you to do so. It will make you really question whether our erstwhile ally Pakistan is, in fact, a mortal enemy.

At the moment, they are our bestest buddies. Congress recently authorized about $7.5 billion over the next 5 years in military and economic aid. We rely on them for the main supply line to our troops in Afghanistan. They occasionally share intel on al-Qaeda. They are a nominal democracy in a region where that form of government is very rare.

Having said all of that, the HBO doc makes it plain that the Pakistani government promotes terrorism. The group that carried out the Mumbai massacre - Lashkar-e-Taiba - is a creature of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and they operate freely in Pakistan with dozens of bases and thousands of members. The massacre was actually directed from inside Pakistan as cell phone intercepts prove.

Lashkar-e-Taiba now has global ambitions of jihad against the west. And now we discover that the Taliban's chief, Mullah Omar, is hiding in plain sight in the Pakistani city of Karachi - with the help of the ISI.

Eli Lake, Sara A. Carter and Barbara Slavin of the Washington Times have the exclusive report:

Mullah Mohammed Omar, the one-eyed leader of the Afghan Taliban, has fled a Pakistani city on the border with Afghanistan and found refuge from potential U.S. attacks in the teeming Pakistani port city of Karachi with the assistance of Pakistan's intelligence service, three current and former U.S. intelligence officials said.

Mullah Omar, who hosted Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders when they plotted the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, had been residing in Quetta, where the Afghan Taliban shura -- or council -- had moved from Kandahar after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Two senior U.S. intelligence officials and one former senior CIA officer told The Washington Times that Mullah Omar traveled to Karachi last month after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He inaugurated a new senior leadership council in Karachi, a city that so far has escaped U.S. and Pakistani counterterrorism campaigns, the officials said.

The officials, two of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic, said Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the ISI, helped the Taliban leaders move from Quetta, where they were exposed to attacks by unmanned U.S. drones.

The development reinforces suspicions that the ISI, which helped create the Taliban in the 1990s to expand Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, is working against U.S. interests in Afghanistan as the Obama administration prepares to send more U.S. troops to fight there.

And we're giving these people $7.5 billion so they can harbor the man whose forces are killing our soldiers?

Our relationship with Pakistan is complicated for all the reasons I gave above. But surely we can insist that they not help our enemies in Afghanistan while taking American taxpayer's money. That would seem to be a minimum requirement for the continuation of that aid.

 


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