Taliban laughs off US blacklisting of Haqqani network

By AFP
Published: September 9, 2012

Senior Pakistani security official says the move will negatively impact future Pakistan-US relations. PHOTO: FILE

KABUL: 

The Taliban denounced the US move to blacklist the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network as a terrorist organisation on Saturday, saying it would have no impact on operations and was indicative of the US defeat in Afghanistan.

In a statement released through micro-blogging site Twitter, it said there was “no separate entity… in Afghanistan by the name of Haqqani”, adding that the network’s founder and its fighters were totally loyal to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.

The militia claimed previous terrorist designations against its members had no impact on operations and said “this latest announcement will also be ineffective”.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday she would press ahead with the Haqqani blacklisting, which will make it a crime in the United States to provide the network with any material support, and freeze any of their property or interests in the US.

The United States blamed the Haqqanis for a June hotel attack just outside Kabul, the 2011 siege on the US embassy and, in 2009, the deadliest attack on the CIA in 25 years.

“The Islamic Emirate does not have any trade agreements with any American companies or individuals and neither does it have monetary funds there which could be frozen,” the Taliban said. “This cowardly act of yours in which you enter mujahideen of Islamic Emirate into your so-called black list is indicative of your complete defeat and dismay.”

The statement further said that the blacklisting would strengthen its determination to fight the Americans.

Former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen said last year the Haqqani network had become a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. That triggered concern that the US could indirectly be branding Pakistan a terrorist state. But US officials downplayed such fears, insisting Islamabad had been informed in advance, and stressing the move would not hamper any future peace talks with the Taliban.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2012. 

Reader Comments (11)

  • Indian Catholic
    Sep 9, 2012 - 11:32AM

    They will stop laughing once the FTO designation gets into effect and hurts the Haqqani network’s vast business empire in Saudi Arabia, ME, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.

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  • Just Manners
    Sep 9, 2012 - 3:14PM

    Haqqani, Afghan Taliban, are at war with the US since long. Blacklisting the Haqqani network now is quite a surprise. This is like belatedly blacklisting a belligerent, which is a much insignificant thing than being at war with them. Actually, this measure is to pressurize Pakistan to go after Haqqani network with whom American peace overtures have failed. Pakistan already is bogged down fighting the TTP and now another task has been assigned. The fear is that the Pak Army is stretched to more than its limits, as it also has to take care of the eastern front and to safeguard Pakistan’s nukes. So would Pakistan oblige?

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  • Cautious
    Sep 9, 2012 - 7:37PM

    This designation doesn’t have the immediate effect of a drone strike – but it puts everyone on notice that doing business with the Haqqani makes them a legitimate target – in the long run that may have more impact than any drone strike.

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  • Abs
    Sep 9, 2012 - 8:49PM

    The only entity Haqqanis seem to hurt are the foreign occupation forces in Afghanistan.It is obious that would make them their enemies. The decision is more of acceptance of frustration of an occupation more then any thing else

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  • Peace Seeker
    Sep 9, 2012 - 10:26PM

    “Do more” for Pakistan.

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  • Raj - USA
    Sep 9, 2012 - 11:04PM

    Who else laughed recently at an US action ? Hafiz Saeed and DPC.

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  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Sep 10, 2012 - 6:49AM

    @Indian Catholic

    Do you really believe US will do any thing against those business empire (if there is any) in ME run by this so called Haqqani network :)

    BTW! it was a surprise that US attacked afghanistan declaring taliban a terrorist organization and now declaring a faction of taliban terrorist again :)

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  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Sep 10, 2012 - 6:57AM

    @Raj – USA

    How many times US will declare Taliban a terrorist organization :) before this news I always thought Haqqani faction of taliban is a terrorist organisation declared by US and even UN!! :)

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  • Humaira
    Sep 10, 2012 - 7:41AM

    I sometimes think that these westerners are utterly clueless about the cunning desi mind. Let me explain more clearly in case some gora in Amreeka can listen.

    Everybody knows that there is one huge amorphous loosely-connected organization consisting of literally tens of millions of people in Pakistan and Afghanistan who are fundamentalist Islamic jihadis to some extent or another. Some ready to blow themselves up while at the other extreme others are only willing to organize and help. Some are illiterate and jobless. Others are well read and may even hold prominent positions – like in the amy or isi. This is the core.

    Then there are about a hundred million jihadi sympathizers who would not perform a terrorist act but would condone it. This is the base.

    The core group is not a group at all. One day they are Taliban, another day they are JUD, another day LET, yet another day lashkar e janghvi. Doesn’t really matter. One and the same people doing one and the same thing. Now, banning Haqqani makes no sense. It is just a label. There is whole alphabet soup of acronyms to choose from for their next avatar. And the gora is left holding the basket again long after the mouse has escaped!!!!

    Cum on Amreeka! Wake up you super power. The Haqqani network is not like IBM with an identity card and a mailing address. It is just a bunch of bearded hooligans who don’t care what they are called as long as they can get the job done.

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  • John B
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:42AM

    @Humaira:
    US analysts are not that dumb. Naming Haqqani reigns in all his loosely connected associates and “sympathizers” for prosecution in the court of law. It also reigns in PAK misadventures after 2014.

    Haqqani is only a drone away.

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  • Abid Khan
    Sep 10, 2012 - 12:28PM

    @Humaira:
    Very informative, thank you. But please also tell us what these jihadis are after, what are their goals? Are they reacting or pro-acting? Is there a way peace can be negotiated with them? How?

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