278. Intelligence Information Cable Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

[cable number not declassified]


  • Pakistan/Afghanistan/USSR


  • Continued Government of Pakistan Covert Support to the Afghan Islamic Nationalist Insurgents [1 line not declassified]


  • [2 lines not declassified]

1. During a meeting of senior Pakistani military officers on 24 May 1980, General Zia-ul Haq was given a briefing by the Master General of Ordnance and Lt. General Akhtar Abdul Rahman Khan, Director General of the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID), on weapons covertly supplied by the Government of Pakistan (GOP) to the Afghan Islamic nationalist insurgents (INI’s). Weapons recently supplied were listed as follows:

A. 300,000 rounds of .303 rifle ammunition

B. 500 .303 rifles

C. 50 anti-tank hand-held 75 mm rocket launchers

D. 30 field radio communications sets

E. an unknown quantity of plastic explosives and other demolitions

[Page 744]

2. Commenting on the method of supply, General Akhtar said that he and the Director of Military Intelligence coordinate these activities through their own agents, that all markings on the equipment were erased and that all ammunition supplied is without markings. All ammunition and equipment is moved into Afghanistan through small groups of trusted agents.

3. Lt. General K.M. Arif, Chief of Martial Law Administration Staff, objected to these activities and said that such actions would provoke the Soviets and invite their retaliation. By undertaking such activities, the GOP was moving into a confrontation policy with the Soviet Union.

4. General Akhtar disagreed with General Arif and commented that the INI’s are stronger now and they should receive continued GOP support.

5. General Zia basically agreed with Akhtar’s position, commenting that the Saudi Arabian Government had recently asked about the extent of GOP support to the INI’s. General Zia closed the discussion by stating that because of the sensitive nature of the issue he told the Saudis at the Islamic Conference that he would provide King Khalid with all the details at their next meeting.

6. ACQ: [1 line not declassified]

7. [less than 1 line not declassified] Dissem: [3 lines not declassified]

8. Washington Dissem:

To State [handling restriction not declassified]|for the Director, INR

To [less than 1 line not declassified]

To NSA [handling restriction not declassified]|for the Director, NSA

  1. Source: Department of Defense, Afghan War Collection, Box 5, Pak Support for Insurgents. Secret; [handling restriction not declassified].