That is the conclusion of an article by Dexter Filkins in today's New York Times.
According to the story, late last year the Afghan government and top Afghan Taliban leaders had met in Dubai and perhaps elsewhere, to establish conditions for formal peace negotiations. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the second-ranking Taliban leader, was involved in these talks. But in February, Pakistan's security services apprehended Baradar in Karachi and then picked up another 22 Afghan Taliban leaders inside Pakistan. Many of these leaders were subsequently released while Baradar is still "relaxing" at an ISI safe house.
Pakistani officials told Filkins that they picked up Baradar and the other Afghan Taliban leaders in order to break up their negotiations with the Afghan government:
"We picked up Baradar and the others because they were trying to make a deal without us," said a Pakistani security official, who, like numerous people interviewed about the operation, spoke anonymously because of the delicacy of relations between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States. "We protect the Taliban. They are dependent on us. We are not going to allow them to make a deal with Karzai and the Indians."
This article is an embarrassment to U.S. officials. U.S. policymakers have always acknowledged Pakistan's central role in any settlement of the Afghan war. But it does not look good for U.S. officials when the Pakistani government breaks up peace talks between Afghans, while Pakistan receives billions in U.S. assistance and the Taliban kill several U.S. soldiers every day in Afghanistan.
Second is Pakistan's increasingly brazen declaration of its duplicity. Statements such as, "We protect the Taliban. They are dependent on us. We are not going to allow them to make a deal with Karzai and the Indians" would seem to leave little doubt that the Pakistani government keeps the Afghan Taliban a functional military force. Such statements make it difficult for U.S. officials to explain why it is so important for the U.S. to accelerate its war effort in Afghanistan and simultaneously keep Pakistan an "ally."
Finally we should wonder why these Pakistani officials revealed this story and these statements to Filkins. Pakistani officials have no doubt already privately made it clear to Afghan Taliban leaders, Afghan government leaders, and U.S. officials that Pakistan will allow no settlement process to occur without Pakistan's participation and approval. Why then did they think it necessary to repeat this message publicly in the New York Times, embarrassing Obama administration officials as they did so?
Perhaps these Pakistani officials want everyone to understand that they will control the end game in Afghanistan. By undermining the U.S. war effort, they are arranging to get their wish.