Pakistan upset at being left out of US-Taliban talks

Ambassador Haqqani says Islamabad has conveyed its displeasure to Washington.

Munizae Jahangir June 27, 2011


Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani said that Pakistan is not part of the negotiations between Washington and the Taliban and is upset about it.

“We have told America that we are not happy with this,” said Haqqani in an exclusive interview with Express 24/7.

The Obama administration has recently confirmed that it had established contacts with the Afghan Taliban though it insisted the negotiations were at a preliminary stage. It is widely believed that the US has deliberately kept Pakistan at bay about its efforts to seek a peace deal with the Taliban ahead of the phased withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Earlier, a statement issued by the foreign ministry after talks between State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and US deputy special representative Frank Ruggiero, in cloaked diplomatic language complained that “the minister underscored the importance of clarity and strategic coherence as well as transparency to facilitate the Afghan people and the Afghan government in the process for peace and reconciliation.”

Haqqani’s statement is also the first official recognition of Pakistan’s displeasure at being excluded from the endgame in Afghanistan.

“If America believes that Pakistan’s participation is required for success in Afghanistan, they will have to get Pakistan on board in their negotiations with the Taliban,” said Haqqani.

Visas for CIA operatives

Haqqani dismissed reports that the Pakistan Embassy in the US had issued 67 visas to CIA operatives. A local newspaper last week quoted embassy officials in Washington as saying that the Pakistan embassy has issued visas to CIA officials for deployment in Pakistan.

“The news reports are rubbish, false ... the media should be more responsible,” said Haqqani while dismissing the report.

Haqqani also said that Pakistan has lodged a protest with the Americans on militants crossing over from Afghanistan into Pakistan and launching attacks.

“The Americans should wipe out Taliban sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan,” he said.

The interview will be aired today on Express News.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2011.


Observer | 10 years ago | Reply

Why should Pakistan expect to be part of a different country's political negotiations? Isn't that interference in the neighbor's sovereignty while Pakistan cries hoarse about its own sovereignty being violated? Would Pakistanis allow India to be part of its political decision? It should be up to the Afghans as to who they want to be part of their geopolitical negotiations.

Noor Muhammad | 10 years ago | Reply USA is repeating the same old historical strategic mistakes rather blunders by to trying to execute a peace agreement in a clandestine manner with Taliban of Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan- a country which otherwise happens to be the main stake holder in the entire quagmire and has suffered irreparable loss in the on going war against terrorism. Pakistan has ample reason to remain upset at such kind of developments, when our role and interests are not being reckoned with. We and the world at large do remember that how the Europeans in general and the USA in particular had turned its back on us after the successful pulling of Red Army out from Afghanistan and confining the surge of communism at the outskirts of Afghanistan. We suffered colossal damages both in terms of human and material losses in the war against Russians. What happened in the post Russians withdrawal scenario? The decade of 90’s is marked by continues intrafactional fights, instability, damage to our institutions and spread of kilashinkove and drugs culture coupled with other social distortions our serene society. The decade of post 9/11 scenario added fuel to the fire and we, after sustaining phenomenal losses, are still fighting the faceless enemy in the guise of terrorists and extremists. There is no denying the fact that these non state actors got flowered and flourished in the safe sanctuaries of Afghanistan and Pakistan even at times with the reported state patronization and blessing. This is extremely unfortunate indeed. After sustaining phenomenal losses, we are still fighting these rogue and nasty elements, who have litrally high jacked us. The world has named us as one the most dangerous country in the world. Enough is enough. The US should stop suspecting us and start working with us on equal terms of respect for our sovereignty and regional interests and take Pakistan on board with regard to any agreement with Taliban of Afghanistan.
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