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India supported Pakistani Taliban, Pashtuns?

December 06, 2010 11:49 IST

United Arab Emirates security officials believed that India along with Iran had supported the Pakistani Taliban and Pushtun separatists, even as US suggested that UAE was a source of funding for the militants, a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks discloses.

The strange allegation by UAE officials is noted in a State Department cable, which reports the details of a meeting between officials of the US Treasury Department and those of UAE's State Security Department (SSD) and Dubai's General Department of State Security to discuss suspected Taliban-related financial activity in the UAE.

The meeting, spread over several hours on December 15-16, 2009.

In the meeting, GDSS officials noted Iran's support to Taliban in Pakistan, adding that it believes that India also has supported Pakistani Taliban and Pashtun separatists.

The meeting from the US side was represented by Treasury Department Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Howard Mendelsohn.

Mendelsohn also raised Afghanistan and Pakistan-based extremist and terrorist groups, to include Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jamaat al-Dawa al-Quran wa al-Sunna, according to the cable.

UAE security services were not familiar with the names of specific UAE-based LeT members shared by the Treasury, but promised to follow up on the information, the report said.

"DSS officials were familiar with XXXXXXXXXXXX who reportedly provides funding to the Taliban/Haqqani Network, according to US intelligence.

"The GDSS officials stated that they do not believe XXXXXXXXXXXX is loyal to the Taliban, and noted that he has cooperated with Pakistani authorities, as well as with Afghan President Karzai," the cable said.

"They pointed out XXXXXXXXXXXX's past visits from former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Zaif, but noted that such visits -- which may have resulted in financial support -- have ceased," it said.

"GDSS continues to monitor XXXXXXXXXXXX although at present they do not believe that he is a Taliban financial manager," it said.

Mendelsohn suggested that he may be a pragmatist who maintains relationships with legitimate authorities, but insisted that the US government has information that suggests he is still involved with the Taliban.

"During the course of the two multi-hour intelligence exchange sessions, GRPO and Treasury analysts walked through the previously shared information suggesting that Taliban-related finance officials have visited the UAE in order to raise or move funds," it said.

According to the cable, the UAE security officials believe that the Taliban may draw support from the sizeable Pashtun population resident in the UAE.

"They asked for lead information the US could gather with names of individuals or entities in the UAE that may be supporting the Taliban," the cable said.

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