The HBO documentary “The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl”, that premièred this Tueday is the story of two people: very similar to each other in terms of having had a privileged upbringing, having being high achievers in school and having achieved success in their respective professions at a very early age.
The documentary also treads unfamiliar ground for Western audiences since it very clearly articulates the fact that Omar Sheikh was trained in Pakistan to perform kidnappings in Kashmir, that when he was released in Kandahar, there were ISI agents on the ground along with the Taliban coordinating the whole operation ,that after Daniel Pearl’s capture, when the Pakistani police were “looking” for Omar Sheikh, he had already been “taken in” by the ISI. [Omar Sheikh basically gave himself to the police–the entire thing coordinated by the ISI] and that one of the most plausible reason Pearl was murdered was because he had come “too close” to revealing the ISI nexus with 9/11.
The ISI certainly was very chummy with the Taliban. (I've read that bodies of ISI officers were found at the Afghani site that was bombed by the US in 1998.) Whether that relationship still exists today is an open question. Though, I would bet that there is a connection at some level.