That's the solemn word from the country's military and political leaders as they tried to put down reports Thursday that Canadian soldiers had been paying their enemy to keep the peace in Kandahar.
"I haven't heard of any type of payment that would be done by our troops in order to remain protected," said Lt.-Col. Chris Lemay, a spokesperson with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command.
"With the number of casualties we've been getting, had we paid these guys they wouldn't be holding up their end of their bargain."
The unseemly suggestion appeared after a bombshell report in a British newspaper alleged Italian military and intelligence officials had been buying off the Taliban with "tens of thousands of dollars" in an Afghan area under Italian control.
The report alleged the Italians failed to inform their French replacements in eastern Afghanistan, misleading them into thinking the area was safe, something that led to the massacre of 10 French paratroopers in 2008.
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's office called the report in the Times of London "completely groundless." The Italian defence minister denounced it as "rubbish."
Later, a report by Agence France-Press quoted an unnamed senior Afghan army official as saying that all NATO forces with the exception of the British and U.S. militaries regularly pay off the insurgents to prevent deadly attacks.
The source spoke specifically of Canadian soldiers in Kandahar, where the military has suffered the bulk of its 131 fatalities, engaging in the practice, as well as the German military contingent in the north.
Dan Dugas, a spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay, said he had "never heard of this practice, ever," when asked Thursday by the Star.
Lemay called the report "far-fetched." and described the practice as "unethical" for a professional military.
He said the claims may have started as Taliban disinformation or propaganda designed to sow discord and mistrust among the NATO coalition and to alienate Western military forces from the local Afghan population, which is already wary of the coalition's intentions.
Lemay said the only project in which Western money could go to Taliban fighters is a compensation program in which individuals are paid for turning in their weapons. Western nations also target Afghans of fighting age when setting up local development projects, such as building roads or schools so that they will be paid for legitimate work.
In Kabul, a U.S. spokesman for NATO forces in Afghanistan denied the allegations. "We don't do bribes," Col. Wayne Shanks said. ``We don't pay the insurgents."
"The article has unnamed sources, innuendo and hyperbole," Shanks said. "We see no evidence of any of the accusations."
The Times reported that Italy had paid off Taliban commanders and warlords in the Surobi district, east of the capital, Kabul. The newspaper cited Western military officials, including high-ranking officers at NATO, speaking on condition of anonymity.
With files from Associated Press