KABUL, Aug 11: Pakistan’s intelligence agency is helping the Taliban to pursue an insurgency in Afghanistan that has seen a 50 per cent rise in attacks in some areas this year, the Nato commander said.

The number of foreign fighters, including Europeans, is also increasing here while Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) still lacks the soldiers it needs, US General David D. McKiernan said in a weekend interview.

“There certainly is a level of ISI complicity in the militant areas in Pakistan and organisations such as the Taliban,” the four-star general said.

“I can’t say to what level of leadership that goes to but there are indications of complicity on the part of ISI... to the extent that they are facilitating these militant groups that come out of the tribal areas in Pakistan.”

“Unfortunately we see a higher number of non-Pashtun, non-Afghanistan fighters this year than this time last year,” McKiernan said.

“They are really from a variety of ethnic groupings: some are from areas in Pakistan, some are from places like Uzbekistan, or Chechnya, some are from Europe and some are from other Arab countries,” he said.—AFP

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