Keywords: Taliban, "Taliban", Interagency Intelligence of Pakistan, President P. Musharraf
SHOWING THE WORLD THE TRUE FACE OF THE TALIBAN
Although there is no shortage of publications in the Russian press that mention the Taliban and the Taliban, little is actually known about this Afghan movement. So, we know almost nothing about its leaders. And their fate often turns out to be difficult, and the views of some of those who stood at the origins of the Taliban have evolved in a very unexpected direction. The tragic fate of a person who took an active part in the formation and strengthening of this movement is indicative. He is called the" godfather " of the Taliban. All the more instructive is the path he has taken.
For 11 years - from 1979 to 1989, that is, throughout the entire period of participation of a limited contingent of Soviet troops in the fighting in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) - the Mujahideen, who tried to overthrow the government in the country led by the People's Democratic Party, were assisted by intelligence agents of neighboring countries and, above all, Pakistan.
One of the most influential among the "invisible front fighters" was Amir Sultan Tarar, nicknamed the "godfather of the Taliban" and better known as"Colonel Imam". He participated in numerous international intrigues and collaborated with various special services, movements and tribes. "Tarar epitomized the complexities of Pakistan's multi-faceted policy toward militant Islam" and was undoubtedly "one of the most important figures in the history of Islam."
the most colorful and controversial figures in the shadowy world of spy games on the troubled border between Pakistan and Afghanistan " 2.
His military and intelligence career began in 1970, when he graduated from the Pakistan Military Academy with the rank of Second Lieutenant and was assigned to the 15th Line Regiment. In 1974, he was sent to the United States, where at Fort Bragg (North Carolina) he completed a special forces training course, after which he was awarded the American "green beret".
After returning to Pakistan, Tarar was assigned to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. Almost nothing is known about his activities as an agent of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Most of the information about that time of Tarar's service, by his own admission, was partly once his operational "legend", partly invented by journalists.
What is true is that after his return to Pakistan, Tarar taught guerrilla tactics to those who had fled the "communist revolution"in Afghanistan in 1978. Among them were future leaders of the anti-Soviet "resistance" - Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Ahmad Shah Massoud, as well as Muhammad Omar and Jalaluddin Haqqani. Since 1980. Tarar participated in combat operations against the Soviet Army, which, by the way, he later gave a high rating 3.
It is believed that its main function was to train the Mujahideen, and in close contact with the CIA. American-sponsored camps operated in the Pakistani province of Balochistan and in the Tribal Border Area (Northwestern Border Province of Pakistan)4.
However, in our opinion, training the Mujahideen for guerrilla warfare was only a cover for Tarar to recruit agents who were supposed to work for the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
A curious episode from the biography of "Colonel Imam": shortly after the collapse of the USSR, President George H. W. Bush invited him to the White House, where he was presented with a fragment of the Berlin Wall with the inscription engraved on a brass plate:"To the one who struck the first blow"5. As you can see, the Americans pinned certain hopes on him, which, however, were not fulfilled...
In the early 1990s, after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, the Ministry of Internal Affairs began to actively support the Taliban. Under the cover of being Pakistan's Consul General in Herat, "Colonel Imam" ended up in Afghanistan to advise and finance the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar.  His meeting with Omar in his new capacity took place in 1994.7 At that time Omar was already called Emir8.
Tarar played a key role in the Taliban takeover of Kabul in 1996.9 According to his own account, immediately after the notorious September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, he visited Omar, stayed with him for some time, and left only when the American bombing began.10 At the end of 2001, "Colonel Imam" finally left Afghanistan and settled in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi11.
Some of Tarar's statements made in an interview with Francesca Paci, a journalist for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, are interesting.
First, about the difference between Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban: "The Taliban are different from Al-Qaeda, they are just ordinary Muslims. Afghans do not share the idea of centralizing power that al-Qaeda wants.
Secondly, about the attitude of the Americans to the Afghans: "They (the Americans - P. G.) used the Afghans against the Soviet Army, then to abandon them at a time when they needed schools, water, infrastructure." And finally, the journalist asked what would "colonel"mean?
He advised Washington the day after the September 11 attacks. The imam replied: "I would advise you to find irrefutable evidence and submit it to the UN. Mullah Omar did not refuse to hand over Osama, but asked for proof of his guilt. America wanted to do everything on its own. " 12
When the Americans were looking for bin Laden, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf distanced himself from "his Taliban" and fired the most "radical" generals, including the then director of the Interior Ministry, Mahmoud Ahmed. "Colonel Imam" was recalled from Afghanistan. Musharraf's move was partly motivated by the Pakistani Taliban's ties to their Afghan counterparts, but mainly because they are under the influence of al-Qaeda. And the "own Taliban" believed that the Interior Ministry had betrayed them and moved to the positions of their enemies.
As a result, the IMR has become a target for Islamic extremists. In recent years, hundreds of its employees have been killed in bomb attacks on vehicles and offices, and dozens of Pakistani intelligence agents have been beheaded in Tribal Zone 13.
The "Colonel Imam", who did not hide his negative attitude towards the new generation of the Taliban, did not escape their revenge either. So, he said that the Taliban are "corrupted" by scum, in fact, criminals who joined the movement in recent years. He also criticized the Pakistani Taliban, which in 2007 began fighting the Pakistani army in the Swat Valley (the so-called "second front of the Waziristan War"). and organized a series of bombings in the cities of Pakistan 14.
Tarar has become a strong advocate of peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, insisting that a distinction must be made between them and al-Qaeda. He warned that American attempts to split the Taliban by bribing their commanders were doomed to failure.15
In March 2010, "Colonel Imam" traveled by car and driver to Waziristan, along with another former Interior Ministry official, Khalid Khawaj, and British journalist Asad Qureshi, who was assigned by Channel 4 to interview one of the leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, Haki Mullah Mehsud.16 But on the way to Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan, the Taliban captured them and took them hostage.17
In April, Khawaja was executed after making a videotaped " confession." In it, he confirmed that he was "a spy for the Interior Ministry and CIA and betrayed the extremists during the siege of the Red Mosque in Islamabad in 2007." 18 In late April, his body was found on the side of a road in North Waziristan with a note stating that the victim worked for the CIA and the Interior Ministry. The message's authors warned that other American spies would face the same fate.19
Journalist Qureshi was released in September after his family paid a ransom. The driver was also released 20.
A certain Usman Punjabi was involved in the organization of the abduction - on behalf of a previously unknown group of "Asian Tigers", he demanded 5 million rupees (about $55 thousand)for the release of the "Colonel Imam".21. There are indirect indications that militants who attacked the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi in October 200922 were also involved in Tarar's abduction.
Intense negotiations were held on the release of "Colonel Imam". His video messages to the Pakistani authorities, to his family and friends were repeatedly broadcast. But the situation could not be changed, because the family's financial resources were limited, and the state did not pay 23. The matter was complicated by the fact that the Taliban also demanded the release of at least five prisoners from among their supporters - the army refused to extradite them 24.
"Colonel Imam" was shot, as can be seen in a video distributed by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan*. This video shows that the execution took place on February 19, 2011. 25
When Pakistani security officials confirmed Tarar's death, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of 2 million rupees (about $22,000)for his body.26
So there is no doubt that under the slogans of "holy war" ordinary criminals are rampaging in the ranks of the Taliban.
Or maybe they were always like this, and it took time for them to show their true colors?..
* The self-designation of the Pakistani Taliban is" The Taliban in Pakistan " (in English). Urdu).
1 http://www.jacta.ru/world/article/7id =406
2 http://www.theguardian.com/world/ 2011/jan/23/pakistan-godfather-taliban-dies
3 Interview with RT journalist Tarikh Mokhiddin - http://inosmi.ru/video/20100304/ 158443165.html
4 http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/ 03/04/gordon-duff-new-york-times-article-on-col-imam-puzzling/
5 http://www.criterion-quarterly.com/ col-sultan-amir-imam-tarar/
6 http://www.fergananews.com/news/ 16261
7 http://www.theguardian.com/world/ 2011/may/12/isi-bin-laden-death-pakistan-alqaida
8 http://www.inopressa.ru/article/18Mar 2010/lastampa/tarar.html
9 http://www.theguardian.com/world/ 2011/jan/23/pakistan-godfather-taliban-dies
11 http://www.inopressa.ru/article/ 18Mar2010/lastampa/tarar.html
13 http://www.theguardian.com/world/ 2011/may/12/isi-bin-laden-death-pakistan-alqaida
14 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/ 04/world/asia/04imam.html
15 http://www.theguardian.com/world/ 2011/ian/23/pakistan-godfather-taliban-dies
18 http://www.theguardian.com/world/ 2011/jan/23/pakistan-godfather-taliban-dies
20 http://www.theguardian.com/world/ 2011/may/12/isi-bin-laden-death-pakistan-alqaida
21 http://www.theguardian.com/world/ 2011/jan/23/pakistan-godfather-taliban-dies
22 http://tribune.com.pk/story/110841/ clandestine-operation-colonel-imam-had-ties-with-osama-mullah-omar/
23 http://www.nation.com.pk/Politics/ 23-Jan-2011/Former-ISI-official-Col-Imam-killed-in-North-Waziristan
24 http://www.theguardian.com/world/ 2011/ian/23/pakistan-godfather-taliban-dies
25 http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e01_ 1298199749
26 http://www.nation.com.pk/Politics/ 23-Jan-2011/Former-ISI-official-Col-Imam-killed-in-North-Waziristan
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