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'Elements in Pak army, ISI have worked with Taliban'

Source: PTI
May 23, 2016 12:47 IST
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Some elements in the Pakistani military and the Inter-Services Intelligence had ‘shown a willingness’ to work with terrorist outfits, a top American Congressman has alleged after the United States said it has killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a drone strike deep inside Pakistan.

"I think that there is an element in the ISI, an element in their security services that in the past have shown a willingness to work with terrorist organisations, especially inside Afghanistan," Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee told CNN on Sunday.

"And my hope is that now that has come back to bite, that there is a realisation that that support has to end," he said.

Asked if Pakistan can be an ally in the war on terror, Royce said, "I think the civilian government is."

Asked whether he believes that Pakistan gave the nod for the drone strike against Mansour or was given advanced warning, Royce said, "Some elements in the Pakistani military are conflicted here for this reason. They've worked with the Taliban in the past, but at the same time, the Taliban and their allies, their other radical allies, are also trying to overthrow the civilian government inside Pakistan itself."

"And so, this has complicated the situation for Pakistan since they have lost so many civilians to attacks by the Taliban and other affiliated radical organisations. So, I think end of the day, the fact that we’ve taken out the Taliban leader might allow us to see an evolution in this, where we get more security in the region," he said.

Mansour, who was in his early 50s, and another militant were targeted in a precision air strike by multiple unmanned drones operated by US Special Operations forces on Sunday in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province close to the Afghan border.

Royce said the air strike against Mansour was an important development because he had ‘killed thousands and thousands of people’.

"So, the fact that we took out their leader, this is important, but it’s only the first step. If we're really going to give the air power, the support necessary to make certain that the Afghans can hold their ground against the Taliban," Royce said.

Image used for representational purpose only.

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