Pakistanis Nabbed Taliban Boss to Stop Peace Talks

Naive CIA got played: sources
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2010 7:55 AM CDT
Pakistanis Nabbed Taliban Boss to Stop Peace Talks
This image from an undated video shows Pakistani Taliban bosses. The Pakistani Taliban has a complex relationship with the Pakistani government, which seeks to exert influence over it.   (AP Photo/IntelCenter)

In an embarrassing development for the CIA, it looks like the capture last January of Taliban commander Abdul Ghani Baradar was anything but the joint US-Pakistani victory against terrorism it was presented as at the time. In fact, Pakistan captured Baradar to undermine secret peace talks between the Taliban and the Karzai government—and thus to preserve its role as regional power broker, writes Dexter Filkins for the New York Times.

It was CIA technology that tracked down Baradar in a chaotic Karachi neighborhood, but while enlisting the Americans' help, Pakistani intelligence didn't let them in on who it was they were catching, Pakistani sources claim. The Pakistanis, who joked that the CIA was laughably naive, didn't allow the Americans to interrogate Baradar until the CIA finally figured out his identity several days later. "We've been played before" by Pakistani intelligence, a senior NATO official said of the matter. "That the Pakistanis picked up Baradar to control the tempo of the negotiations is absolutely plausible." (More Pakistan stories.)

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