Haqqanis should be used to bring Taliban to negotiating table: Imran Khan

Imran Khan says ISI does not control the network but maintains links with it for "leverage".


Express/Reuters September 27, 2011

Cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan told Reuters that he believes Pakistan's main intelligence agency, the ISI, still has connections with the Haqqani militant group, a chief driver of violence in eastern Afghanistan, but these connections could be put to good use.

"I do not think that ISI controls the Haqqani network,” Khan said.

“Yes, they would have connections with them. And if I was the United States, I would use this connection of the ISI with the Haqqani network to actually get them on the negotiating table.”

Imran said that the US now wants an exit strategy, because people in the US have decided that they want American troops back.

He feels that the ISI should use these links to bring the Haqqani network to the negotiating table, rather than fight them as proposed by the US, because “then Pakistan loses all leverage”.

Lat week, the outgoing US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen called the Haqqani network a "veritable arm" of the ISI intelligence agency and accused Pakistan of providing support for the September 13 attack on its Kabul mission.

"Haqqani could be your ticket to probably a dialogue getting them (Taliban) on the negotiating table, which at the moment they are refusing. So I would think that's a much saner policy than to try and ask Pakistan to take them on,"

Pakistan's government and army rejected the allegations.

Two weeks ago, militants launched an assault against the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul. US officials blamed those attacks on the Haqqani network. Pakistan denies it supports the Haqqanis and says its army is too stretched battling its own Taliban insurgency to go after the network, which has an estimated 10,000-15,000 fighters.

(Read more: Yes we Khan)

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COMMENTS (45)

Antanu | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@sanjithmenon: america can not solve all the problems...mwhat an stupid idea. America itself is the biggest problem for world peace. Why ....did iraq ask them to come and hit them and kill a million people....?

Tahir Mehmood | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend

Pakistan and U.S are again at a critical turn of ties. Pakistan rendered innumerable sacrifices in war and terror yet these sacrifices are not acknowledged. We faced deaths, resources loss and brutal killing of innocent citizens. Now once again blame game is on. Does this mean that only Pakistan has to suffer? When a few Western soldiers die, it’s big news but when thousands of Pakistani soldiers die fighting the criminals, we are told to do more? What kind of logic is this? It’s time for Pakistan to worry about its own future alone. What did we get for kicking the Soviets out of Afghanistan and ending the Cold War. The world never thanked us for preventing a nuclear WW3 but instead they left us to clean up all the extremists the West supported against communism. Now the Afghanis are behaving as lackeys of the Indians and trying to create problems in Pakistan. I salute to PPP leadership for talking brave and wise decision. The rational approach of Government will not let Pakistan vulnerable to attack or defame image of Pakistan. The decision to call APC is indeed wise and timely, it will not only give a clear message to world that we are united but also united political leadership. One should trust in Government that it will not let Pakistan to play in hands of Super Power.

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