US legislators want Haqqani network to be deemed 'terrorist' group

Published: May 12, 2012

The latest US bogeyman.

WASHINGTON: The leaders of congressional intelligence committees, who recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan, have urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to immediately designate the militant Haqqani network as a “terrorist” group.

US officials blame the al Qaeda-linked network for attacks in Afghanistan including assaults on embassies and the parliament in Kabul. The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, had called the Haqqani group a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s intelligence service.

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees, in a letter to Clinton, on Friday, said their trip to Afghanistan last week reaffirmed concerns about the network.

“It was clear that the Haqqani network continues to launch sensational and indiscriminate attacks against US interests in Afghanistan and the group poses a continuing threat to innocent men, women, and children in the region,” the letter said.

In the six months since the State Department said in November it was engaged in a final review, “the Haqqanis have continued to attack US troops and the US Embassy in Kabul,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter said the administration may have been reluctant to designate the network as a “terrorist” group while trying to negotiate a reconciliation agreement with the Taliban. But US Ambassador Ryan Crocker told the lawmakers last week there have been no such talks since late last year and Afghan President Hamid Karzai has opposed their continuation.

The letter, signed by senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss and Representatives Mike Rogers and CA “Dutch” Ruppersberger, said there was no reason not to move forward on the designation.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the lawmakers’ letter had been received, and that the review of the potential designation was still under way.

But she pointed out that many key Haqqani leaders had already been targeted by individual designations, freezing any US-based assets they might have and barring any US citizen from transactions with them.

“As we continue our review we consider it absolutely essential to designate individuals because that allows us to pursue the assets of individuals rather than have to sort of try to divine who might be covered by a blanket designation,” Nuland said.

 

Reader Comments (9)

  • DB
    May 12, 2012 - 3:28AM

    They should ask Kamran Shafi to come and testify on behalf of CIA.

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  • Tarun Bose
    May 12, 2012 - 7:18AM

    Not only the Haqqani group but Pakistan itself should be isolated as a terrorism-sponsoring nation. It should be boycotted and sanctioned in the same way as other rogue nations such as Yemen, North Korea, Somalia and Sudan are treated. Pakistanis will then realize, albeit a bit late in the day, that they are completely isolated in the world and have neither the economic strength nor the political culture to survive.

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  • May 12, 2012 - 7:42AM

    This would mean that the host Country has to demonstrate that it is tackling the Terrorist group or else action will be taken.

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  • Harry Stone
    May 12, 2012 - 8:26AM

    Finally the US Congress is prepared to take some action. What will PAK do?

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  • JD
    May 12, 2012 - 10:24AM

    Hahaha, that’s funny. So this means that the group that they hold responsible for the bulk attacks on US and NATO forces in Afghanistan is not yet designated as a terrorist group? lol.

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  • Freedom Seeker
    May 12, 2012 - 12:40PM

    Unless a terrorist is on paying list of Americans they are not terrorist. They are working for them. Haqanis are American agents and working against Pakistan. Now Americans want to pressurize Pakistan by calling them terrorist.

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  • striver of progress in pk
    May 12, 2012 - 1:37PM

    @Tarun Bose:
    Many ignorant people or so called intellectuals have a venomous pen to write against Pakistan relying on baseless propaganda. This is the same Haqqani network that was appreciated by Ronald Reagan and the Americans compared it with their fore fathers.This is a great dilemma that we never miss an iota of chance to defame any other person or country believing on Propagandists reports.
    Be realistic not biased.Recommend

  • Feroz
    May 12, 2012 - 5:29PM

    Wonder why it has not been done as yet. Maybe they are waiting for Chinese New Year.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    May 13, 2012 - 2:44AM

    It’s difficult for outsiders to judge at whose bidding the Haqqani network is. Siraj Haqqani had once dismissed the allegation of the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen and denied that his network was linked to Pakistan’s ISI. He insisted his network remained loyal to the Afghan Taliban and took orders only from Mullah Omar.

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