ISI not supporting Pak based Taliban commanders against NATO forces: Musharraf

     Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has rejected reports that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was lending covert support to the top Taliban commanders based in Pakistan and providing them logistical help to continue fighting against the US led allied forces in Afghanistan. Musharraf also denied that the ISI was still helping the Taliban in order to hedge against a U.S. withdrawal from and oppose Indian interests in Afghanistan. "I don't think that is correct at all. The ISI behaves as they are ordered by the government. They never go against government policy," The Washington Times quoted Musharraf, as saying. "If our attitude is that the (Pakistani) army and ISI are the culprits, God save all of us," he added. Musharraf, however, defended Islamabad's support to the Taliban during the Soviet Union's incursion into Afghanistan, saying it had no other option then. "Pakistan had no other option after the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan but to recognize the Taliban because a rival movement, the Northern Alliance, was supported by India and other opponents of Pakistan," the former general said. "Is it in our interest to be on the Taliban side now? No," said Musharraf. Musharraf also denied reports that nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan sold nuke know how's to Iran, North Korea and Libya with the knowledge of the Pakistani government. "It is absolutely wrong to think that the Pakistan government was involved in proliferation. It was done by himself as an individual who proliferated," he said. It may be noted that Khan, in his letter to a British journalist, Simon Henderson, claimed that he was made a 'scapegoat' in the nuclear proliferation issue. Khan said the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's defence advisor had asked him to provide nuclear details to Iran. "Probably with the blessings of BB (Benazir Bhutto) General Imtiaz (Benazir's defence adviser) asked... me to give a set of drawings and some components to the Iranians...The names and addresses of suppliers were also given to the Iranians," Qadeer said in his letter.

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