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ISI paid Taliban to kill Indians in Kabul: Wikileaks

India has long believed Pakistan was the puppet-master behind the series of attacks on Indian assets in Afghanistan in recent years. This belief was confirmed by documents released by Wikileaks which say that the ISI offered Taliban groups $15,000 to $30,000 to kill Indian contractors in Afghanistan, reports HT.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2010 01:40 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times

India has long believed Pakistan to be the puppet master behind attacks on Indian assets in Afghanistan in recent years. Among the 91,000 secret US documents released by the non-profit website Wikileaks in its ‘Afghan War Diary’ are reports that substantiate these claims.

They confirm earlier reports that there was intelligence of attacks on the Indian embassy in Kabul on July 7, 2008 and on other Indian targets.

They also say that the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) offered the Taliban $15,000-30,000 to kill Indian contractors in Afghanistan.

Many of the reports are drawn from the 2004-07 period, when Pakistan Army chief Gen Parvez Ashfaq Kayani — the man the US has depended on for its war on terror — ran the ISI. American officials often praise Kayani for what they call his efforts to purge the military of officers with ties to militants.

The embassy attack, the war logs confirm, was conceived months in advance and executed at the behest of the ISI.

On November 18, 2007, US intelligence submitted a report: “ISI gave order... to conduct attacks against Indian consulships in Jalalabad, Kabul, Herat, Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif.”

One leaked document suggests that there was prior warning from Polish intelligence on July 1, 2008. The report — titled ‘Threat to Indian Embassy’ — said that the “Taliban are planning an attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul”, that an engineer had been “designated” for this purpose and a budget of $120,000 kept for this operation.

Six days later, a suicide bomber attacked the Indian mission in Kabul, killing 41 people — including two Indian diplomats and two Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel.

Indians throughout Afghanistan were targets. A report dated March 23, 2008 said “credible reporting dated Mar 22, 2008 indicated attacks against civil engineers and workers building roads in Nimruz province are being planned.

In one particular case, it was reported that the ISI ordered Serajuddin Haqqani to eliminate Indian nationals working in Afghanistan”. It also warned that the Taliban planned to kidnap doctors, engineers and labourers.

On April 12 that year, two Border Roads Organisation personnel were killed and seven injured in a suicide bombing in Nimruz. On February 26 this year, two Kabul guesthouses used by the Indian government were targeted.

First Published: Jul 26, 2010 20:20 IST