Members of Pakistan’s spy agency are pressing Taliban field commanders to fight the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, some U.S. officials and Afghan militants say, a development that undercuts a key element of the Pentagon’s strategy for ending the war.
The explosive accusation is the strongest yet in a series of U.S. criticisms of Pakistan, and shows a deteriorating relationship with an essential ally in the Afghan campaign. The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military and development aid to Pakistan for its support.
The U.S. and Afghanistan have sought to persuade midlevel Taliban commanders to lay down their weapons in exchange for jobs or cash. The most recent Afghan effort at starting a peace process took place this week in Kabul.
But few Taliban have given up the fight, officials say. Some Taliban commanders and U.S. officials say militant leaders are being pressured by officers from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency not to surrender.