WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill which asks the Secretary of State to submit a report within 30 days on whether the Haqqani Network meets the criteria set for being designated as a terrorist network.
The Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act of 2011 had been put up for a vote at last week’s session. While it was debated, the session was adjourned without the House voting on it. However, on Tuesday, the House picked up where it had left off on the matter and approved it by a voice vote. The approved bill is a House-amended version and has to be approved by the US Senate again before it is sent to the US president for approval.
The bill stipulates that 30 days after the President has approved it, Secretary of State has to submit a report to Congressional committees on the matter. Additionally, the bill includes that “nothing in this Act may be construed to infringe upon the sovereignty of Pakistan to combat militant or terrorist groups operating inside the boundaries of Pakistan.”
The text of the bill states that the Congress has found that the Haqqani Network was responsible for attacks on US-led forces in Afghanistan, as well as on the US Embassy in Kabul.
Citing former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen’s Senate testimony calling the Haqqani Network as a “veritable arm” of the ISI, the bill states that top leaders of the Haqqani network have already been added to a list of “specially designated global terrorists.”
The Senate has already passed the bill, which was introduced by Senator Richard Burr, in December 2011. The bill is now being brought to the House floor, where it was expected to be voted on on Jully 9, 2012.
US authorities have repeatedly pressed the Government of Pakistan to take action against the Haqqani network, an insurgent group that has been accused of several attacks on US-led and coalition forces in Afghanistan and is believed to have bases on both sides of the Durand line.