Pakistan has been using Taliban to counter India’s growing influence in Afghanistan, as per a set of private emails of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director John Brennan that were hacked and released into the public domain by Wikileaks.
The tranche of emails leaked by unidentified hackers contain the reports that Brennan had written to Barack Obama two days after he was elected the President in November 2008. The position-cum-strategy paper had reports on Pakistan, Afghanistan and ideas for US policy towards Iran.
Brennan wrote on November 7 in 2008:
Pakistan’s desire to counter India’s growing influence in Afghanistan and concerns about US long-term commitments to Afghanistan increase Pakistan’s interest in hedging its bets by ensuring that it will be able to have a working relationship with the Taliban to balance Indian and Iranian interests if the US withdraws.
At that time, Brennan advised the US President on foreign policy and intelligence issues. He was appointed as the Director of CIA in March 2013.
Brennan’s views on Pakistan were disclosed in a 13-page executive summary on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The report stated that activities in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were challenged by Pakistan’s sensitivity towards the Taliban, PTI reported.
The report said:
While the US Intelligence Community differs on the extent of the relationships, at least some elements of Pakistan’s military and intelligence services appear to be ambivalent about the anti-Taliban and anti-militant mission in the FATA, in part due to their history of close ties to the Taliban in Afghanistan’s conflict with the Soviet Union and Pakistan’s use of militant proxies in its conflict with India.
Brennan also wrote:
Coalition forces have won every major battle with Afghan insurgents, but these tactical successes have not resulted in a strategic victory, largely because insurgents are free to regroup in sanctuaries across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
The leak comes as an embarrassment for the CIA which has slammed the hack as a crime.