Does Pakistan control the Taliban?

Najib Manalai, an adviser to Afghanistan’s minister of culture and youth affairs, has described the Taliban [in an interview] as a composite of different elements, “hijacked by Pakistani intelligence services and by international terrorist groups.” While there exists de facto leadership, its interest is with international terrorism, rather than a national agenda. [EurasiaNet, June 6]

[He also said that under the Taliban regime, “Al-Qaeda took actual power in Afghanistan —and Mullah Omar was an image of power but not actual power.”]

Meanwhile, Pakistani police have arrested 312 political party workers during the last few days in the Punjab province, in advance of a planned protest against new government restrictions on the news media. [NYT, June 6]

From Security Briefs, June 7

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