Pakistan upset at being left out of US-Taliban talks

Published: June 27, 2011
Ambassador Haqqani says Islamabad has conveyed its displeasure to Washington.

Ambassador Haqqani says Islamabad has conveyed its displeasure to Washington.


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.

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Reader Comments (40)

  • Khurram
    Jun 27, 2011 - 8:52AM

    We have been playing on both sides of the street for too long.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 27, 2011 - 8:57AM

    When 2/3 of Pakistanis believe that OBL’s presence and killing in Abbottabad is wrong, that means they are saying that not even American media but also the US president is lying about it. The fact is that not a single Pakistani military or civil official contradicted the US president, but they did not come clean either by refuting the misinformed Pakistanis and tell them the true story. When you do not tell the truth or admit your mistakes, how can the US again trust you?

    My thinking is from out of the box and I have been telling like a broken record that if Pakistan wants any respect in the world community they have to come clean and tell the whole truth ASAP. There is no other option, the sooner the better. Now that US has left you alone, what can you do about it? The lies can fool only some Pakistanis but the world is not that naive. Nobody is going to waste their hard earned tax money when you still do not tell the truth and expect other nations to do that.Recommend

  • Jun 27, 2011 - 9:09AM

    Incite, incite our government against Taliban, US foreign policy of Taliban vs. Pakistan is fanned by Ms. Kar and now Pakistani ambassador.Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Jun 27, 2011 - 9:10AM

    As a Pakistani, there couldn’t be better news for me. The Generals’ (our policy makers)Afghanistan obsession has been the biggest scourge for this country these past 30 years. I am glad a force of greater magnitude is delivering them from their demons. RIP Strategic Depth. Down with Security State. Long live Welfare State. Recommend

  • Jun 27, 2011 - 9:15AM

    bhooo hooo .. i am going to go cry to mama..and tell on you if you do not include us…
    we are going to support and hide terrorists and whenever possible we are going to warn the terrorists of impending raids..

    NOW why were we NOT included if there is a CHANCE that the fighting might end.!! so we can make sure there is NO CHANCE of the FIGHTING ENDINGRecommend

  • Frank
    Jun 27, 2011 - 9:21AM

    Don’t worry, our American enemies are fighting a rearguard action. We have time on our side.Recommend

  • Asim+Ali
    Jun 27, 2011 - 9:23AM

    Quite a failure our self proclaimed ambassador to the US has been. Flouting merit, backdoor entry and here are the resultsRecommend

  • vasan
    Jun 27, 2011 - 9:42AM

    “The Americans should wipe out Taliban sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan,” he said.
    So what is Pakistan supposed to do with all its terrorism nurseries, schools, universities and research centres. Shouldnt Pak wipe out all these to set an example. Or are they Pakistan’s assets and the the world’s liabilities. Pak should have sum gumption to make a statement like this. Still expect the world to respect it will be height of stupidity.Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Jun 27, 2011 - 10:02AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.This is not because this is old habit of US leaders that on the completion of hidden/furtive mission they always deceive their muslim friends and the US leaders’ muslim friends think that US is their friend. Recommend

  • Aftab
    Jun 27, 2011 - 10:08AM

    Haqqani was talking about Pakistan’s strategic “death” in Afghanistan!Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Jun 27, 2011 - 10:18AM

    I remember seeing Hamid Gul et al on TV gloating that India was not being invited to Afghan peace talks. Recommend

  • khauf.
    Jun 27, 2011 - 10:34AM

    America has outdone pakistan in talks with taliban, which mean they are due to build a block agaisnt pakistanRecommend

  • Dr. Mohammad Azmi
    Jun 27, 2011 - 10:40AM

    I guess we need to go after the terrorists that we have nurtured for the americans and the world at large to take us seriously. Else we all know — “Beggars cant be choosers”

    Dr. Mohammad Azmi
    Nuremberg, GermanyRecommend

  • Irshad Khan
    Jun 27, 2011 - 10:44AM

    Americans are constantly displeasing and neglecting us but on the other side Pakistan has issued visas to a number of CIA agents, does this indicates utter displeasure on our part! By the way, Pakistani citizens have the right to know how many agents are already working on our soil from America and also from other countries and on what missions. It should also be known that how many Pakistanis are on the role of CIA. Do we need such agents and if not then a proper combing is urgently needed to get them out from our country. They are not to any help to us rather may be creating several troubles. Recommend

  • wasim younis
    Jun 27, 2011 - 11:23AM

    i totally agree with Mr Hussain haqqani. The Americans should have involved Pakistan in the dialogue and America should stay committed in fighting Taliban where ever they have strong hold in Afghanistan. We have been a front state and have suffered the most in this ongoing war hence the Americans should consult every move with Pakistan.Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jun 27, 2011 - 11:43AM

    US also realizes it is prudent to Pakistan away from talks.Recommend

  • Ba ha
    Jun 27, 2011 - 12:02PM

    america has taught Islamabad a lesson in remote management of terror. Outdo or get outRecommend

  • Frank
    Jun 27, 2011 - 12:13PM

    The Americans are now trying to make a deal with the same people they’ve been fighting for a decade – the good Taliban. Violence is the only language America understands and violence is a language the Taliban speak eloquently. Let us just savor America’s humiliation. Recommend

    Jun 27, 2011 - 1:50PM

    The fact of the matter is that both US and Afghanistan distrust Pakistan so immensely that donot want its participation. However, ISI must be working overtime for these talks to fail and US is forced to take a u-turn to envolve Pakistan in these all important talks to put its strategic assets to rule Afghanistan.Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Jun 27, 2011 - 1:54PM

    Give me a break, when they unilaterally raided at your capital without telling you, is there any respect left for you which can be honored ? Recommend

  • Mohammed Maqbool khan
    Jun 27, 2011 - 2:48PM

    our policy maker must be review and deeply study about Afghan matter that what is in our interest Recommend

  • V. C. Bhutani
    Jun 27, 2011 - 3:19PM

    Taking Pakistan on board for US negotiations with the Afghan Taliban would ensure that the talks would fail. Pakistan has been wholly insincere in everything in the so-called war against terror. Obama was right: “The cancer is in Pakistan.” USA has been fighting in the wrong country. If the US learns the lesson even now, it will be a gain and good for the peace of the world.
    It is encouraging to know that some Pakistanis do think that Pakistan has been fighting on both sides.
    V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, June 27 2011, 1548 ISTRecommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 27, 2011 - 5:02PM

    There is nothing that should upset a nation that is constantly asking the World for Financial Aid. All the problems of Pakistan are indigenous and its own creation. Every time there is a fork in the road, only someone who carries a map can take the right road. When friends have pointed out that Pakistan is taking the wrong road the answer has been more emotional than rational. After the American interest in Afghanistan waned with the defeat of the Soviets, instead of helping its neighbour rebuild the country Pakistan imposed a blood thirsty, violent and Women hating proxy called Taliban on the hapless people there. These evil forces were driven out by the International community after 9/11 with UN approval. Where did the Taliban escape and take shelter? If the Pakistani people did not invite them, who did? Was it the same group that hosted OBL like a milking Cow? Who allowed these violent groups from Afghanistan to enter the country, with whose permission ? Which nation has lost 40000 lives to blood thirsty Religious warriors since 9/11 ? Having taking 40000 lives whose national interest are Taliban serving, Pakistan’s ? Who is keeping Pakistan financially afloat, the US or Taliban ? Is it worth destroying ones own country for any cause ? Now please continue your discussion. Recommend

  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Jun 27, 2011 - 5:49PM

    Now Pakistan is trying to raise a local allience against America and NATO .with a hope that after the withdrawl of U.S. from Afghanistan they will again instal the terorists regime there .so that they can produce fighters for Kashmir and Israel front .
    DO MORE MANTRA will remain applied on Pak for many more years and there is no escape from it .Recommend

  • Menon
    Jun 27, 2011 - 6:46PM

    @wasim younis:

    Why does Pakistan want to get involved in somebody elses business? The Pakistani leadership can’t even keep their own country safe. Pakistan wants to get involved in Kashmir, why? You have no right or claim in both cases. All you did in Kashmir was sent in rebels, modern day terrorists to attack, same things you did in Afghanistan. Afghanis don’t like you, the only Afghans that like is on the ISI payroll. Besides, the only reason you guys want to get involved is to provide information to your stooges so you can derail the talks.

    Get it through your heads, Pakistan is not that important to a deal and world knows your game very well now. The game has been unravelled.Recommend

  • Menon
    Jun 27, 2011 - 6:49PM

    @R S JOHAR:

    The Uturn will be Drone attacks on North Wazristan to get rid of Haqquani. No more place to run, game over. Soldiers are coming back, not the drones.Recommend

  • PoorPeace!
    Jun 27, 2011 - 6:50PM

    @Frank…Dear Frankenstein, not once I have heard you talking about peace or talking sense. How about surprising us all here?
    BTW you would do good to realize that its not America but pakistan for whom the time is running out.
    Hope you know that pakistan was one of the only three countries to recognize taliban govt in Afghanistan. But then they were not violent for you, were they?

  • Menon
    Jun 27, 2011 - 6:53PM

    @Mohammed Maqbool khan:

    What is really in your interest is getting rid of the terrorists amongst yourselves and start building a civil society, creating jobs and making the economy grow so, people can have decent life and don’t need to be scared about getting killed when shopping or walking down the street or getting blown when they pray.

    Is it so diffivcult to understand? You have no interests in Afghanistan, Kashmir, West Bank or Nigeria, none. They are all big boys, they can work it out themselves.Recommend

  • Nilesh
    Jun 27, 2011 - 7:45PM

    @Mirza: Very well said. Good citizens like you can pull out pakistan from trouble.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 27, 2011 - 8:25PM

    No one trust Pakistan anymore — certainly not the Taliban, Afghanistan, or America. It is unfortunate Pakistani is unhappy — but when you are two faced with your friends why would they want you as a mediator?Recommend

  • Mango Man
    Jun 27, 2011 - 8:25PM

    Pak tried to play both of them against each other and lost! Pak back-stabbed both US and Taliban. What else do you expect now? The Americans should have done this a while ago and got out of Afghanistan! Pak is now twiddling its thumbs and losing on all sides, plus has the bonus of facing the wrath of all those it betrayed!Recommend

  • curious1
    Jun 27, 2011 - 9:23PM

    When your one foot is in one boat and the second foot in another boat, you see this kind of result. Our foolish, selfish and brainless military is gambling on Pakistan as they did in 1970-71. Have moral courage and make an open and visible u-turn instead of begging for your security from China and Iran. Don’t play games otherwise you will be played out badly.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Jun 27, 2011 - 10:07PM

    Remove Zardari’s party from power by voting them out, at same time clarify to Sharif’s party
    that any wrong move from them would bring the masses actually into the streets, though they are only been playing games with the masses on the subject? Pakistan needs to grab the hand being extented by Iran and strengthen the link that she has already with China. If our leaders and establishment feel they lack moral courage to change the course of tide in
    larger interest of the nation. Then let them hold a free and fair referendum on whether we should sleep in the same bed with Uncle Sam and his mistresses or sit on a table with those who do behave like the Barmicides.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Jun 28, 2011 - 2:34AM

    Does the Empire of West Punjab ( today’s Pakistan ) not realize that no empire based on military might has been able to conquer or subdue Afghanistan ? Recommend

  • Frank
    Jun 28, 2011 - 8:34AM


    @Frank…Dear Frankenstein, not once I
    have heard you talking about peace or
    talking sense. How about surprising us
    all here?

    What kind of peace would you like? A piece of Baluchistan? A piece of Baltistan? Or a piece of Sindh?Recommend

  • Jun 28, 2011 - 11:06AM

    Don’t worry. As soon as they childproof the important aspects they’ll involve you.Recommend

  • PoorPeace!
    Jun 28, 2011 - 5:36PM

    What kind of peace would you like? A piece of Baluchistan? A piece of Baltistan? Or a piece of Sindh?

    @Frank…Dude. As always you talk more with sentiments than sense. Nobody in this world is interested in your piece of land, least of all India. You keep your piece of Baluchistan, Baltistan and Sindh and enjoy.
    How about even trying to stop spewing venow and hatred?
    When I see people like you so hopelessly living in illusion, I see no hope of peace between two countries.
    Just ask yourself what have you people got after more than 60 years of hatred except for unrest in whole region?
    While India has marched ahead in its pursuit of economic development you people are still stuck in bygone era’s mindset.
    What a pity!!!Recommend

  • CitizenoftheWorld
    Jun 28, 2011 - 8:02PM

    … hmmm … last time they did that … they ended up talking to a dhobi and a hajjaam!Recommend

  • Jun 30, 2011 - 10:49AM

    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. Recommend

  • Observer
    Jul 16, 2011 - 3:17AM

    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.


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