Elements of three Pakistan commando regiments are currently operating in support of Taliban forces in northern Afghanistan and these will soon be reinforced by additional troops from two Frontier corps regiments, Ahmadshah Massoud, commander of Afghanistan's opposition United Front has said.
"Despite mounting international pressure on Pakistan over its support for the Taliban, Islamabad is anxious to see decisive Taliban gains this year," Massoud said in an interview published in the latest issue of Jane's Defence Weekly.
"Some 10 days after my return from Europe in late April Pakistani military chiefs held a meeting in which it was decided to press ahead with the war," he said.
According to the report, Western military analysts, however, remain sceptical of such claims, pointing out the UF chief has been conspicuously unable to produce convincing evidence of the deployment of regular Pakistani combat units — as distinct from religious volunteers and military advisers attached to Islamabad's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.
Massoud argued that continued military resistance to the Taliban remains essential if the Kabul regime is to be brought to the negotiating table and the way opened for a political settlement.
Such a settlement, he said, should instal an interim government — possibly including ex-king Zahir Shah and other neutral Afghans — which should work to collect weaponry, re-establish security and prepare for general elections after one or two years.(PTI)
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine