KARACHI: The Afghan Taliban on Tuesday took the unusual step of declaring the Haqaani network as its handmaiden and distancing the network from Pakistani patronage or control.
“America … wants to spread the mentality that one of jihad’s prominent personalities and a member of the Islamic Emirate’s Leadership Council, Al-Hajj Maulawi Jalaluddin Haqqani, is a separate force and is tied to others,” said the Taliban statement issued in the name of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and e-mailed to journalists.
The statement said that Jalaluddin – an Afghan warlord in the 1980s who later founded the dreaded Haqqani network – “receives all guidance for operations from the (supreme) leader of Islamic Emirate (Mullah Muhammad Omar).”
(Read: Who on earth are the Haqqanis?)
In the wake of this month’s 20-hour siege of the US embassy and Nato headquarters in Kabul, Washington has accused Islamabad of supporting the Haqqani network. So much so that Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen called it a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s top spy agency – the ISI.
The Taliban believes the US is trying to destabilise Pakistan. “America wants to spread chaos in Pakistan through various means, weaken its government and make it dependent upon them,” said the militia in the statement.
The Taliban blamed the United States, though not directly, for the ongoing militancy in Pakistan. “America … make(s) them (Pakistani government and citizens) fight each other to show that there (are), what they call, terrorist sanctuaries there,” the statement said.
The militia, which was ousted from power in Afghanistan in 2001 by the US-led coalition, “advised people of Pakistan and its government” to prioritise “Islamic and national interests” and stand firm in the face of “America’s two-faced and implacable politics”. “America will never be happy with them (Pakistan) until they loot all their material and moral assets,” the statement said.
The Taliban also scoffed at US claims of the Taliban maintaining sanctuaries in Pakistan’s tribal regions. “Our bases are neither in Pakistan nor do we need residence outside of our country,” said the statement. “All the military and civilian activities in the country are our own initiatives and our own actions.”
The group’s spokesperson said that they control large swathes of Afghanistan and have the required expertise to fight a long war.
“We don’t need to have bases in any other country. And we have 30 years of fighting experience. We don’t need a foreign intelligence agency to train us,” Zabiullah Mujahid told The Express Tribune by phone from an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. “The Americans have not been able to defeat us. And now they want to cover up their failures.”
“All this talk of the Haqqani network and Quetta Shura controlling our jihad from Pakistan is baseless,” Mujahid added.
(Read: ‘No sanctuaries in Pakistan’ - Haqqani network shifts base to Afghanistan)
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of Jalaluddin who heads the group, told Reuters in an interview earlier this month that it no longer needs sanctuaries in Pakistan because it feels “more secure in Afghanistan”.
In Tuesday’s statement, the militia said that, by such propaganda, America wanted to portray “mujahideen” as a defeated and divided force and to denigrate “prominent figures” of the Taliban movement.
But they said the “Islamic Emirate is at its strongest and unified more than it has been at any other stage”. It called upon “America and her allies” to end the “occupation of Afghanistan as quickly as possible and do now what must inevitably be done.”
Although there is little to suggest the United States is considering a cross-border incursion against the Haqqanis, Pakistanis fear action from American ground troops. And political parties, especially the right-wing religious groups are using this hostile sentiment as a rallying slogan.
On Tuesday, Jamaat-e-Islami staged a huge rally in Sadokhel Zernoor Kallay of Landikotal subdivision, in Khyber Agency. It was the first political rally by the JI in tribal areas after the expansion of the Political Parties Act to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Hundreds of participants threatened that they would wage jihad against the United States, if it dared a military adventure in North Waziristan.
Waving party flags and wearing ribbons, hundreds of tribesmen joined the throng armed with Kalashnikovs.
“We announce jihad against America if they attack Pakistan,” Jamaat-e-Islami chief in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Sirajul Haq told the gathering. “The whole nation will wage a jihad against America,” he added.
(With additional reporting by Amirzad Afridi in Khyber Agency)
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
@malik: u dont like it? why?
You have not read my comment carefully. First, will you please tell me what is the proof that Afghan Taliban provided shelter to TTP? And had there been a link between them, why would TTP killed Col. Imam and the Afghan Taliban failed to save him. This is clear evidence that they have no influence on TTP. My friend you need to know that there are alot of groups which call themselves taliban. Mixing it up with Afghan taliban a confusion in your mind. TTP is support by CIA and RAW. Can you explain why the US and NATO troops had been withdrawn from the other side of the fence exactly at the time when Pak army started operation in waziristan against TTP? The withdrawal left kunar and Noristan vacant for the escaped taliban where they found safe places and from where they now conduct attacks in Dir, chitral and tribal areas of Pakistan.
I strongly condemn the TTP as they have no right and no justification to fight with pakistan. But about Afghan Taliban, you consider them terrorists because the US say so? Afghan Taliban belongs to Afghanistan and they see US as invader. They call themselves freedom fighter and infact they are because they are fighting the intruders. Most important, they have the support of the afghan people as it is not possible to fight winningly a gorilla war without locals support.
Now you are telling me that afghan taliban are the killers of innocent people in this war. This is where I lament the bias information that have been provided to you through media. Have you ever tried to find out how many innocent people (including women and children) are killed by US and NATO. They bombed funerals, marriage ceremonies and peaceful jirgas. Will you please just go to you tube and find the video of innocent children with whom the US helicopters played the death game? and there are lots of acts of cruelty. .
@Waleed: Exactly the response I expected and mentioned in my post. Taliban are Taliban period. They are intertwined to a level where they follow the same amir (Mullah Omar), they provide each other shelter, training, arms, and fighters, and are driven by the same ideology which is based on a very narrow interpretation of Islam at the exclusion of all other schools of thought and minorities. Educate me if 'our friend' Afghan Taliban have ever condemned any atrocity by the TTP, tried their influence to convince them not to kill their Muslim brethren, or have done/preached anything different from TTP to give us the confidence that they will one day not turn their guns on us? I am not advocating that we necessarily fight Afghan Taliban, all I am saying is that we need to gain full control/sovereignty over our territory, and ask these Afghan oriented groups to go base themselves in Afghanistan. Then we need to deal with TTP/SSP/LeJ/LeT at our own terms. Also, I do no understand this logic that as long as they are only killing non-Pakistanis, they are not hurting Pakistan. In today's world, this logic has completely isolated us and left us friendless (Even China had to be assured that we will destroy Uighur separatists operating from Waziristan before Chinese were willing to talk any support to us). If there was any wisdom in this approach, we are yet to see it, and the cost has been very high for Pakistan.
@Ahsan J -- did not expect anything better from you.. or other prejudiced typed from across the border. Thank God internet is free and not owned by one of the mullahs from Pakistan. happy living in cave mate.
@R S JOHAR: Brother, this is where we need you. Yes I said it. 1 positive & direct statement will win hearts and mind, trust me. If you wanna know us, just come visit us.......... you will feel like you never left home. Ask anyone who ever came over... why is that? In any case, You guys can help us by not doing your analysis of what the Chinese said or take each and every word apart and present it to your liking. That should not be your function. We are , regardless an different country and such behavior is moving ordinary Pakistani away from their neighbor because all they see is interference, ill will, mockery and prediction that you countrymen seem so hell bent takings as god's word.
Now, I am not a very smart person but I tried my best to explain my POV. I hope you are smarter than I am and get the meaning and good will being offered.
My Last words: Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow may be far off but it is still another day! Thanks you for your time and patience.
Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.Now our US' leaders should have to stop saying this that Haqqani group has hide outs in Pakistan and instead of camouflaging their baddest defeat in Afghanistan by threatening Pakistan in the form of economic sanctions and attack on Pakistan they must with draw their troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible on priority basis so that they could improve sinking US' economy and Pakistani leaders must show determination and solidarity as they are and have been showing after receiving the threats from US' leaders by trusting Allah Almighty firmly and strongly without any fear of US' attack and economic sanctions and withstand USA in this regard.
@MAJ Taylor: "They are Goodness personified"- President of USA Ronal Reagan on Haqqani Network. Ronald Reagan With Jalal-udin Haqqani
@MAJ Taylor: You 2are are no different. You must resign your commission for being a part of 2 illegal wars. Last word of advise is that the US does not have any credibility amongst the masses and this is nothing new. Yo simply are not a friends........................... We shall not die to protect you. These are your creations and now you are paying for it unfortunately. How old were you when USSR invaded Afghanistan? lets talk about that...................................
@Jawad U Rahman: Kuch meetha ho jaye ?
@Jawad U Rehman: Pakistan's only true friend are the people of Pakistan
@R S JOHAR: Johar, they must be honorable since US has been in talks with talebans and offered them office space in on of 'em middle east countries. i am sure you are aware of that! How would you view that or would you say that no one's hands are clean and if that is so, then everyone is greeting what they deserve?
A regular day of an Indian troll: 1) take IT support calls 2) eat vege stew 3) take IT support calls 4) whine on ExpressTribune 5) take IT support calls 6) add a few random paki girls on facebook 7) go home
This news serves as a reminder and reiterates the dangerous alliance between these terrorist organizations. The Taliban and Haqqani network are responsible for killing innocents on both sides of the border. Pakistan in particular continues to face the wrath of terrorism, with the Taliban being the main culprits, boastfully claiming responsibility for murdering innocent citizens of Pakistan. The cross border attacks have also increased recently, and evidence shows the Haqqani network is responsible for the recent attack on the NATO trucks, followed by the attack on the US embassy in Afghanistan. The US has asked Pakistan to step up its efforts and go after the Haqqani network to prevent further attacks. The current situation has created another disagreement, and officials from both governments released several statements expressing their opinion. Given the long history of both nations working together to combat terrorism, one should not be too hopeless regarding their future. If the past is any indication to the future, then we can hope both governments will be able to work out the differences for the sake of achieving the common interest. At the same time, the reality does not change, and losing territory in Afghanistan has long pushed the Taliban over the brink of desperation. The transition of security responsibilities proves that the hard work of the US and NATO forces have made it possible for the ANA to independently protect the nation. The doubters will continue to doubt and not waste any opportunity to depict a false picture about Afghanistan. Taliban, on the other hand, do what they are good at, and that is to attack and kill to further their agenda. They have lost all shame in regards to humanity and now they have the audacity to advise Pakistan to prioritize “Islamic and national” interests when they are responsible for taking thousands of innocent lives.
Maj Taylor, DET, United States Central Command www.Centcom.mil/Ur
Thats a new twist in the tail ie Taleban now bailing out military and intelligence agencies. Rehman Malik can now rebuke US even more, quoting honourable Taleban's statement.
@Analyst, Good question. I suspect the organizational chart of Haqqanis, Taleban, ISI, GOP is going to look something like a Jalebi :) (apologies to the non-Urdu speaking folks, Jalebi can be imagined as a close but sweeter and oilier cousin of funnel cake)
@vasan: At least you found out that the U.S. does not control Pakistan.
gotta love Taliban for this one! Talibans, go get'em tigey!
What are you talking about, Bollywood Dramas are even more dramatic that in the 80s for your information!
It makes everything simple down to this question. Is Pakistani establishment with the Taliban or against them? They are all terrorists and linked together, no matter what their name is today or in the past. The world is looking at the actions of Pakistan.
I don't know what's more pathetic or psychotic....that Pakistan controls Haqqani as a foreign policy tool playing a dangerous double game that has cost innocent lives in Af-Pak, or that Pakistan even knowing that Haqqani is controlled by the Taliban refuses to do anything about them with their inaction which costs innocent lives in Af-Pak. Thanks for the PR publicity stunt, Taliban...apparently better adept in it than the Pak government....
@Analyst: What's so confusing? Just write Haqqani and draw an arrow leading to Taliban. As for Pakistan, that doesn't fit in the chart as this recent event just proved.
Is it too difficult for you to understand or too shocking for your mind to bear? :)
Indians are cringing..not just on this ET page..everywhere in their psyops initiative. they have been grabbed by the neck and pulled out..Your 4th generation warfare has failed ..
Go back to your callcentres, now..
absolutely correct analysis of us intentions
wow people actually believe Taliban !!! Wasn't Osama caught in Pakistan a few months ago ?
This statement makes matters worse. It now seems that Pakistan is not just linked to the Haqqani network, but is also controlling the Taliban. There seems to be no need for the Taliban to issue a statement like this as it gets them nothing.
This is getting very confusing. Can someone draw an organizational flow chart of Haqqanis, Taleban and Pakistan ?
Taliban initially wanted to say "...America will never be happy with them until they loot all their material, moral, and strategic assets". But decided to leave the reference to strategic assets out at the last minute as it's against their policy to state the obvious.
The anti-Pakistani Indians here must be shocked. hahaha.
Statement 1 from Haqanis : We are no longer in Waziristan. Statement 2 from Taleban : Pakistan is innocent, Haqannis are in our control. Dont blame Pakistan.
China is our second home.our feelings are same in dificult times.we have time now to awake up and show our unity with china,turky and iran.this time all pakistanies want to brake all relationships wit US and take stand for the prosperity of muslims and pakistan.pak china friendship live long.
@Jawad U Rehman: Very well said dear.
@Someone who says "As for Indians, they should find a joke book to express their daily whinings rather than abusing ET’s comments section all the time!"
Don't we deserve an audience for our jokes?
@Someone: Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim’s visit to Mumbai and New Delhi from September 26-30. An 80-member Pakistani trade and industry delegation is accompanying the Minister and CII is organising an interaction with Indian business on September 29.
Trolls on ET and now on Indian soil.
So now the defense pact must be with Talibans rather than China. See how they came openly in our favor. What a news .....????
@Someone: The Express Tribune is the internationally affiliated newspaper in Pakistan. Partnered with The International Herald Tribune – the global edition of The New York Times
er dear taliban, your help is not helping ;p now the world will think even u are in our pocket (let alone the haqqani network)
Wow, Talibans are getting Diplomatic these days !!
Now this make so much sense!! ..
And the Taliban should be trusted because....?
Who control Taliban
US State Department says it is considering placing the Haqqani network on its list of terror groups.
After 10 years of war, They are now considering this. What a great planning.
And who controls Taliban ?
aarree what have they done by declaring this ???? they dont know how to maintain secrecy i suppose ....
Finally those sitting in the higher ranks of the Taliban have spoken out. I am inclined to find their claim more credible and reputable than the Americans, who have completely failed in Afghanistan or the lame Indian trolls who like to do Pakistan bashing wherever necessary. This statement is a slap on the face on America's false claims. As for Indians, they should find a joke book to express their daily whinings rather than abusing ET's comments section all the time!
how sweet of talibans ? that they take the blame trying to save its masters, Just like Haqqanis telling that they are not in pakistan.. its like 80s movie of bollywood..really dramatic !!!!
Nice reply. All the confusion solved. Maybe US should take heed and exit the Afghanistan and take poppy they are growing back with them.
I am loving it, In your FACE US
Well, what this timely statment of Taliban indicates ?
The lid has been opened. Anyone for more denials?
"America’s two-faced and implacable politics"
Without a doubt. well said. but don't worry, Pakistan already knew about american intentions, from the very first day of this war, the Pakistan reacted in a mature way and they reacted in a manner Americans deserves, american statement were childish and mere frustration, american are cowards, even Taliban says that Russians were brave, Americans run behind when we come and attack them, cry like babies when we catch them.
Better Statement by Taliban for pakistan than the USA....
Ha Ha.. This is funny. Haqqani Network now trying to delink ISI from itself & ISI also does the same. But recent comments from GHQ confirms that they would not target Haqqani`s. & now, the band of brothers say they are not made for each other.