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Afghan army head: Pakistan controls the Taliban

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The head of Afghanistan's army said that the fate of fighting in his country rests with the leadership in Pakistan and that insurgencies could come to a standstill with one simple command.

"The Taliban are under [Pakistan's] control," said Afghan army Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi to the BBC. "The leadership is in Pakistan."

If Pakistan ordered a halt to the insurgency, then attacks in Afghanistan would cease "in weeks," he said. Conflict has raged in the region for about 12 years, and insurgent attacks have increased in recent weeks, on the heels of an American troop drawdown.

Pakistan officials, meanwhile, say they have no control over the militant group.

In an Agence France-Presse report, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "The allegations that Pakistan 'controls' the Taliban and has 'unleashed' them on Afghanistan have no basis. We reject them categorically."

The public back-and-forth highlights the distrust each country holds for the other.

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