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NATO report: Pakistan is the worst friend money doesn’t buy

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — Pakistan continues to support the Taliban in Afghanistan, a secret NATO report says, according to a journalist who has read it, despite years of Pakistani denials and American pressure to stop backing the insurgency

The Taliban depend on Pakistan for support, even though they do not necessarily welcome it, Times of London reporter Jerome Starkey said Wednesday, citing the report.

The leaked NATO document revives the longstanding accusation that elements in Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency are aiding the insurgency in Afghanistan.

It says the ISI knows the whereabouts of all senior Taliban commanders, Starkey said.

“It is a marriage of convenience,” he said. The Taliban see Pakistan as manipulative, but they see no alternative to accepting its support, he said.

The Taliban are absolutely confident of victory, he said the report found, based on 27,000 interviews with more than 4,000 detainees ranging from senior Taliban commanders to Afghan civilians.

They also include mid- and low-level Taliban, al Qaeda, and foreign fighters, he said.

Progress in Afghan peace talks NATO downplayed the importance of the report Wednesday, after it was leaked, while Pakistan rejected key conclusions entirely.

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