North Waziristan: US mounts pressure on Pakistan to take action

Published: September 18, 2011
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Admiral Mullen had expressed his "deep concerns about the increasing and increasingly brazen activities of the Haqqani network," to Kayani in Seville.

Admiral Mullen had expressed his "deep concerns about the increasing and increasingly brazen activities of the Haqqani network," to Kayani in Seville.

ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON: 

In a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Seville, Spain, on Friday, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Admiral Mike Mullen reportedly told his Pakistani counterpart that he would like to see the Pakistani military act against the safe havens of the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Special Assistant for Public Affairs for the CJCS Captain John Kirby said that Admiral Mullen had expressed his “deep concerns about the increasing and increasingly brazen activities of the Haqqani network.”

(Read: Bone of contention)

In a private one-on-one meeting that lasted for over two hours, Admiral Mullen and General Kayani agreed that the US-Pakistan relationship was “vital to the region and that both sides had taken positive steps to improve that relationship over the past few months.” Kirby said the two discussed the state of military-to-military cooperation and pledged to continue to find ways to make it better.

It was the first meeting between the pair since the May 2 military raid in which US Navy Seals, without first notifying Islamabad, killed Osama bin Laden in a compound in Abbottabad.

Pakistan and US relations continued its downward spiral after US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta said that the US could take unilateral action against the Haqqani network based in Pakistani territory similar to that taken against bin Laden.

Since then, the clamour for Pakistani action against the Haqqani network has increased in US diplomatic circles with the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Congressman Mike Rogers and US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter both stressing that Pakistan needs to take action against the Haqqani Network.

In a twist, Sirajuddin Haqqani in a message said that there were no Haqqani sanctuaries in Pakistan, adding that its members had moved over to the Afghan side.

(Read: ‘No sanctuaries in Pakistan’ – Haqqani network shifts base to Afghanistan)

The Pakistan government on Sunday appeared to shy away from a public rebuttal of American claims.

Though security officials denied the charge, none of them were willing to speak on the record, which apparently suggests Pakistan has been caught off guard by the strong US position taken against the Haqqani network.

“It is unfair and unjust to dump your failures on us,” reacted a senior military official to the US allegations.

However, the official acknowledged that Pakistan, like the US, did maintain contacts with the Haqqani network only for the purpose of peace and the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

“Even the US is in contact with the Haqqanis and Pakistan’s contact with the group does not in any way mean we are encouraging them to attack on the US forces in Afghanistan,” the official said.

The comments reflect Pakistan’s belief that the Haqqani network has to play a key role in the future political dispensation of Afghanistan.

Another official insisted Pakistan has been doing “what it could to stop the infiltration of militants from across the border.”

“All communication towers in the tribal areas have been shut down since 2009, so if there is any contact between militants from the two sides, it is only possible through mobile towers on the Afghan side,” he explained.

When approached, foreign ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua declined to comment on the fresh US allegations and said the issues would be taken up at a meeting between Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York.

The meeting was scheduled for shortly after midnight Pakistan time on Sunday.

Officials say Pakistan is likely to issue a comprehensive response to US accusations once Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Foreign Minister Khar return home.

Despite strained relations, Pakistan is seen as key to US military operations in Afghanistan, where the US is to trying to beat down a resilient Taliban insurgency.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Babloo
    Sep 18, 2011 - 7:09AM

    Expect some US action in Waziristan pretty soon within next 2-3 weeks. I think these are last US warnings and the stage is being set. US has now directly linked Haqanni with Kabul embasy attack and charged Pakistan state of supporting Haqanni. Pakistan may have gotten Haqanni to say he is not in Wwaziristan. Thet declaration will be viewed even more derisively as it will be taken as a proff that Haqanni issued that statement on Pak dictation.
    I think my reading of the situation is correct, time will say.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Sep 18, 2011 - 8:05AM

    The news says: ” leader of the Taliban and al Qaeda linked Haqqani, Sirajuddin Haqqani in a message said that there were no Haqqani sanctuaries in Pakistan, that its members had moved over to the Afghan side.”

    Considering the facts that he is a terrorist and the timings of his statement, it is an attempt to side with Pakistani establishment that there are no sanctuaries in Pakistan. These terrorists and their handlers once again are playing smoke and mirror in front of civilized world. This only proves that the army and Haqqanis are in cahoots.

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  • Sad but true
    Sep 18, 2011 - 9:40AM

    Most people think that Mike Mullen and Kayani know and understand each other well.
    To me, Mullen’s talk will the last before things start getting ugly in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Drone
    Sep 18, 2011 - 9:42AM

    Our posts keep getting attacked on a daily basis by elements based in Afghanistan and Mullen has the nerve to tell us to control people on our side of the border.

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  • asmer
    Sep 18, 2011 - 4:02PM

    I cannot understand why the Americans keep quiet when Taliban attack scouts from across the border in hundreds
    when the game is reversed then they cry foul. with Americans you have to stand tall and firm this appeasement policy will further humiliate us pakistanis and make us a laughing stock of the world we still have the slavish mentality when will the culture of defiance rise amongst us You only die once and only we need and make every effort to please only ALLAH not Americans no one Our leadership the worst ever they will run away when the going gets tough so why would they say any thing against their masters they have to live in England Ameirica France so they are not to be trusted at all

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  • Abdul Rahman Khan
    Sep 18, 2011 - 11:16PM

    The body language of Admmiral Mike Mullen and General Parvez Kiyani in this photo clearly shows what were the dialogues and their reactions between the two dignitaries. Enough is enough and Pakistan should now take up the violation of pakistan’s territorial integrity by america to united nations and also to the deaf and dumb OIC (if it is any worth…).

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  • Babur Chughtai
    Sep 19, 2011 - 3:03AM

    Afghans have every right to defend their country against invaders. It’s not a Pakistani business to kill Afghans for the Americans. Who alienated the Pashtun in Afghanistan in 2002 and after that? Certainly not Pakistan. If it’s an American mess, let them clean it INSIDE Afghanistan. The Establishment is clear now: any attack on Pakistan will be seen as aggression.

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  • Doctor
    Sep 19, 2011 - 5:27AM

    @ Abdul – we allow terrorists to violate our sovereignty on a daily basis. Who are we to thump our chests and pretend that we have some semblance of a sovereign nation?

    We Pakistanis are great at shouting, screaming, begging, and making excuses. I’d be much prouder of being from a nation that’s good at actually putting its head down, and fixes its problems like a mature adult and not a spoiled, bratty teenager.

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  • Babloo
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:22AM

    It looks like its too late for Pakistan which seems to be a willing hostage of Haqanni. US is like reading the Miranda rights before the action begins. Keep an eye on the skies.

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  • Sane
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:32AM

    Since when has Pak Army Chief started taking orders from Mr. Mullen ?

    Lets eat grass if required but tame US and throw them out of Afghanistan and Pakistan once for allRecommend

  • firaz
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:59AM

    All this bravado about standing up to US and standing tall and firm is nothing but crap. Pakistan is not in a position to standing up firm to anyone, because to stand up, you need a backbone and it has none to speak of. Beggars are not choosers, and this is something you need to understand. If you Pakistan had backbone, US wont threaten it every other day and ask to do more. Fact is most of Pak leadership has double citizenship and runs to Europe or US even at slightest of cough and cold. It is normal, common people of Pakistan that suffer at the hands of these buggers and they are just not bothered.
    Just imagine, what would Pakistan do, if there is another OBL like operation?? think of best option…and fact is there is none. Pakistan can not do anything. Again Zardari will write another piece in Washinton Times congratulating US for a great action, irrespective of how many Pakistanis die in that operation, Pasha will have another trip to US and so will Kayani at the cost of exchequer and will inform public that everything is fine and as before…life goes on, as long as it does…

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  • Amir
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:23AM

    Gen Kiyani, Please stand stiff against their demands. They are about to sink and want us to sink along.

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  • freehussaini
    Sep 19, 2011 - 8:37AM

    Were I Sirajuddin Haqqani, I would have been very happy that America, the enemy, has got my location wrong and, I would have kept my mouth shut and would have allowed my enemy to have wrong information about my location. My enemy does not know my location and I am safe. Does it make sense?

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  • Infidel Humanist
    Sep 19, 2011 - 8:42AM

    In other related news:

    A dhobhi was seen beating his donkey because the donkey refuses to learn to read and write.

    Recommend

  • antony
    Sep 19, 2011 - 12:04PM

    @freehussaini, Tood good analytical view ..I missed it completely earlier and believed maybe haqqani’s are too proud ..Then I realised who will openly declare their presence before f18 ,f22 and why would any sane person do that ? ..Its definetely gives a clue !!!

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  • freehussaini
    Sep 19, 2011 - 10:13PM

    @antony: Thank you, Sir.

    Recommend

  • lady gaga
    Sep 20, 2011 - 2:39AM

    All terrorists must be bought to book – and if pakistan is unwilling , to afraid or simply incompetent to do so then we must outsource the job to someone who can get it done

    Recommend

  • Amir
    Sep 20, 2011 - 8:44AM

    @lady gaga:
    We are neither affriad nor incompetent (we have proven record in Swat, SW operations) . We just simply DO NOT want to fight with our own people any more.

    You are most welcome to outsource this task and BTW this is what you have been trying to achieve in the region for 10 years but no one is ready to come forward.
    If you please try to place your own boots there and see how it feels like :)

    Recommend

  • freehussaini
    Sep 20, 2011 - 10:53AM

    @Amir:

    What do you say about “our own people” fighting us Pakistanis and killing and wounding us mercilessly through suicide bomb blasts as a matter of routine? Are we supposed to say: “Thank you very much dear ‘our own people’ for bombing and killing and maiming us.” Recommend

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