A former Pakistan intelligence agent who helped CIA in forming the Taliban says the US must talk with the group as it will never be able to defeat the militants.
Amir Sultan Tarar — better known under his nom de guerre, Colonel Imam, the individual who trained Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar — said Saturday that the US must engage in talks with the highly-trained Taliban instead of increasing the number of its troops, which will only will result in the sacrifice of more lives.
Colonel Imam — a former Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence operative — ran CIA-funded training camps for the Afghan resistance to the Soviet Union’s occupation from 1979 to 1989 and is widely believed to have played a key role in the formation of the Taliban.
“You can never win the war in Afghanistan. I have worked with these people since the 1970s and I tell you they will never be defeated. Anyone who has come here has got stuck. The more you kill, the more they will expand,” the Times online quoted Imam as saying.
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He was trained at Fort Bragg, the US army base where America’s special forces are stationed.
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The Pakistani intelligence agent made the remarks as Washington prepares to deploy 17,000 extra troops to Afghanistan to fight a growing Taliban-led insurgency by mid-July.
Many analysts believe that Washington’s recent decision to increase its troops in Afghanistan will not solve the war-torn country’s current impasse and could even result in more civilian casualties.
The number of Afghan civilians killed by US and NATO-led operations has surpassed the civilian casualties caused by the militants.
The United Nations says more than 2,000 Afghan civilians were killed throughout 2008. NATO, however, claims that only 200 civilians were killed by foreign troops last year.