Double-Cross

Pakistan Denies Helping Taliban

Was the Pakistani military supporting the Taliban while accepting millions of US dollars to fight it? That's what The Inheritance, a new book by New York Times correspondent David Sanger, alleges. The Times of London reports the US intercepted a call by General Ashfaq Kayani, the Pakistani army chief who replaced Pervez Musharraf, in which he called Taliban leader Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani a "strategic asset." Later, Washington intercepted calls from the Pakistani military to Haqqani warning him of an impending military sweep designed to prove to the US that Pakistan was on it. A source told Sanger, "It was something like, 'Hey, we're going to hit your place in a few days, so if anyone important is there, you might want to tell them to scram.'" The intercept helped the CIA uncover collusion between the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and Haqqani that led to the deaths of 54 people when India's embassy in Kabul was bombed. News of the book, which was published last month, first appeared in the Pakistani press today, prompting a denial from Musharraf. "Get your facts correct, I have never double-dealt," he told Pakistani television stations.