Over a month after the new Af-Pak policy was unveiled, Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned the US that no success could be achieved in the war against terrorism till Pakistan Army and the ISI continued to support Afghan Taliban.
Welcoming a delegation of US lawmakers, including Republican John McCain, Karzai told them that the improvement in the overall bilateral relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan was held back by the Army and ISI who continue to help the Afghan Taliban.
This was written by US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry said in a secret cable dated January 10, 2010, which was released by WikiLeaks. President Barack Obama unveiled his Af-Pak policy in December, 2009. The United States, which has charged the Wikileaks of indulging in a criminal act by stealing and releasing these cables, has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of these documents.
Karzai said he wants to engage more and have US support in doing so, since "the war won't end easily without Pakistani cooperation", the cable said.
"He was pessimistic about the internal situation, as was his intelligence chief, Amrullah Saleh. Saleh noted that Pakistan's energy sector was in decline and that discontent in Pashtun areas was higher than it had been in the volatile 1960's and 1970's," the cable said.
Karzai also said his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari is using Baloch nationalists as his base of support. "Saleh predicted that neither the army nor Nawaz Sharif would bring Zardari's term to an abrupt end," the Ambassador wrote.
Explaining his reintegration approach, Karzai noted that the peace process and reintegration efforts help in the fight against the Taliban by working with those who are willing to come back, especially the "foot soldiers".
Reconciliation would extend to more senior level Taliban (not Mullah Omar, he clarified) who are not linked to Al Qaeda, "some of whom are willing" to talk. Lots of contacts are taking place, Karzai said, but no common reconciliation policy has emerged, the cable said.
"McCain noted that for this to be successful the other side should be convinced they can't win and this should probably be timed to work with the new influx of troops now underway. "He agreed that those fighting for reasons other than ideology should be helped to return and that the fight should continue against the ideologically-motivated Taliban, stressing the importance of educating the country that both efforts were ongoing at the same time," the cable said.