Pakistan must clamp down on Haqqani: US

Published: September 28, 2011
White House spokesperson says Pakistani govt needs to take action. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

White House spokesperson says Pakistani govt needs to take action. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

WASHINGTON: The United States stepped up pressure Tuesday on the Pakistani government, saying it must clamp down on the Haqqani network blamed for the attack on the US embassy in Kabul.

(Read: Haqqani network CIA’s blue-eyed boy for years, says Khar)

“The Pakistani government needs to take action to deal with the links that exist there,” said spokesman Jay Carney, adding “the Haqqani network is responsible for attacks on the US embassy in Kabul and on ISAF as well as some others.”

The alliance between Pakistan and the United States in the 10-year war in Afghanistan and against al Qaeda hit rock bottom this year in the wake of the unilateral American raid that killed Osama bin Laden near Islamabad on May 2.

In a series of escalating rows, Washington accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency of involvement in the September 13 attack on its embassy in Kabul and a September 11 attack on a NATO base in central Afghanistan.

The White House has since demanded that Pakistan “break any link they have” with the Haqqani network, which was founded by former CIA asset Jalaluddin Haqqani and is run by his son Sirajuddin — based in North Waziristan.

Amid the mounting tensions, Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Kayani on Monday scrapped a visit to London as Islamabad refused to bow to mounting US demands for action against the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani.

Pakistani army spokesman General Athar Abbas said the visit had been “postponed indefinitely” but would be rescheduled. Abbas put the decision down to “the current situation at home” but refused to elaborate further.

Last week, the outgoing top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, bluntly accused Pakistan of “exporting” violent extremism to Afghanistan through proxies and warned of possible action to protect US troops.

Asked whether questions were being raised about the large US aid to Pakistan, Carney told reporters arriving back on Air Force One from a tour of the West with US President Barack Obama that: “We obviously are always reviewing our aid programs.

“I believe the State Department and others have talked about that. I do not have anything new to add on that. We obviously take it seriously and discuss these matters with our Pakistani counterparts.”
Meanwhile at the United Nations, Pakistan’s foreign minister called for greater trust between the two governments.

More than 30,000 Pakistanis have been killed by “the monster of terrorism” in the past decade, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said.

The minister set out Pakistan’s case to the UN General Assembly as her government faced growing US pressure.

“We must demonstrate complete unity in ranks, avoid any recrimination, build greater trust and more importantly bring about the requisite operational coordination in combating this menace,” Khar said.

“Otherwise only the terrorists will gain.”

Khar told the UN summit that “very few countries have been ravaged by the monster of terrorism as brutally as Pakistan.”

She said that among the 30,000 “innocent Pakistanis” killed over the past decade, 6,500 were troops and more than 3,600 were police and paramilitary personnel.
Khar highlighted the death of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in a 2007 attack.

“Numerous politicians have lost sons and brothers and fathers at the hands of terrorists. Our streets are filled with armed police posts. We cannot enter our parks, or shopping centers or churches or mosques without being frisked,” she said.

Pakistan is “united in its determination to eliminate the specter of terrorism from our soil, our region and the world. It is important to enhance international cooperation to totally obliterate terrorism.”


Do you believe the US is pressurizing Pakistan to hide its own failures in Afghanistan?

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Reader Comments (42)

  • Shafaaqat
    Sep 28, 2011 - 9:28AM

    One wonders if US had hired PAK Army for their security? Recommend

  • Mirza
    Sep 28, 2011 - 9:41AM

    The screws are turning more and more. The crap is going to hit the fan soon! There may still be some time for Pakistan to handover a high value target to resurrect its image. Listen to our message instead of attacking us. We are the true patriotic Pakistanis.


  • Lee P
    Sep 28, 2011 - 9:41AM

    Nope Jay. Pakistan would rather take on the US military than the Haqqani network. They reckon they have a better chance of defeating the US than the ragtag bunch of villagers.


  • SK
    Sep 28, 2011 - 9:56AM

    Mr USA, the Haqqanis are sitting right under your nose in Kabul with the Talibans. The Afghan Taliban themselves admit it. I find your hue and cry less credible day by day


  • Troll be gone II
    Sep 28, 2011 - 10:04AM

    @Lee P:
    yeah just ask the russians… oh BTW how did it go between U.S and Vietnam? get my drift?


  • Mohan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 10:06AM

    This is a perfectly logical master stroke by US indealing with Pakistan’s double game. If Pakistan acts against Haqqanis, they get murdered. If they don’t act against Haqqanis they will be branded as sponsors of terrorism.


  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Sep 28, 2011 - 10:20AM

    @Lee P:
    The Americans, NATO,ISAF & Afghan National Army has been at it for 10 long years and have been defeated by the same RAGTAG BUNCH OF VILLAGERS!!!!


  • RizwanTKhan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 10:50AM

    This shows how weak and pathetic US military might is on ground. 4 men only made their night a living hell. A big message for US here.


  • ja
    Sep 28, 2011 - 11:33AM

    Americans are beginning to sound funny….
    In reality they just want to attack Pakistan and rob its resources and nuclear weapons.


  • A J Khan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 11:38AM

    The quick fix solution for Pakistan is to come out of war and concentrate on its own problems.
    Pakistan has suffered too much in this war. The economy has been destroyed, infra structure dilapidated, energy sources out streched and leadership collapsed. USA is a mighty power capable to settle its issues with Afghanistan and Talibans.


  • Ayesha
    Sep 28, 2011 - 11:43AM

    We should kill all terrorists. If haqqani group is terrorist take action now. Terrorists are friends of nobody


  • Hassan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 12:05PM

    To enter Pakistan you need to exit Afghanistan….which doesnt seem like happening in the bear future!


  • Hassan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 12:10PM

    Pakistan is not Afghanistan :)Recommend

  • UK
    Sep 28, 2011 - 12:17PM

    For a country which harbored heinous terrorist like Osama Bin Laden Pakistan better obeys dictates of the civilized world.


  • Ghaznavi
    Sep 28, 2011 - 12:20PM

    US need to DO MORE to secure Afghanistan. Are American troops on a picnic there? They can not even defend Kabul with all their hi-tech equipment and armament. Militants can travel for 250 miles to Kabul and strike? Complete failure of US. I think US should handover Afghan security to India. Indians seem to be very ‘concerned’ about afghanistan. Pakistan is also willing to repatriate 5 Million afghans to India. Let Indians take on Taliban and Haqqani group. Lets see if Indian army is worth the salt.. Recommend

  • true Pakistani
    Sep 28, 2011 - 12:28PM

    Yea, all those people should be killed who killed innocent people….
    Lets start it with USA !!! Because they are always ahead in it!!


  • Straight_Talk
    Sep 28, 2011 - 12:34PM

    Pakistan seem to be silently celebrating about the US blinking and stepping back on the verbal duel over support to Haqqani network. I think such conclusions are too simplistic. US naturally did not want in getting into a costly long proxy-war with Pakistan when their supplies are routed through the land of there adversary. Lets see it like this: Pakistan won the first battle but the war has truly not begun. Obama has elections in 2012. An escalation here would have lasted quite long with a lot of killings which would have been detrimental to his future ratings inside USA. Just wait for US troops to leave in enough numbers so that the supply through the alternative route will be adequate to sustain them. Then the reply may come. Till then Pakistan will be put under heavy non-military assault on the economic, political and public relation front. I also expect a huge upswing in terrorism all across Pakistan. May be Pakistan is unmindfully staring at its own lost decade or two.


  • harkol
    Sep 28, 2011 - 12:53PM

    @Ja – What resources? Nuclear weapons?? USA has some 1000times more of them. If at all they want to deprive Pakistan of more mischief making capability. One can’t deny the facts – Osama lived in Pakistan for 7 years after he carried out biggest single act of terrorism in the history.

    If Pakistan wants world to believe otherwise, it should demostrate to the world by acting against private militia within its territory, instead of claiming inability to do so!!Recommend

  • haider
    Sep 28, 2011 - 1:04PM

    We are a nuclear state, push us to the edge and america will face the consequence. If we are not able to reach US, Israel is surly in our reach.


  • A Patriot
    Sep 28, 2011 - 1:24PM

    Pakistan and a small haqqani group cannot make US govt n military sleep at night…no wonder the US is just trying to take charge on all the resources that exist in our homeland.

    One can imagine that this former CIA employee haqqani must have been gone through that after leaving it, he has become the enemy of US govt.Then they call that they believe in democracy??? They themselves are the biggest terrorist and dictators themselves.

    We will not bow down our army is sincere to its homeland and its people.Recommend

  • haider
    Sep 28, 2011 - 1:57PM

    Going after Iraq killing hundreds of innocent people, just for the reason that Iraq had nuclear weapons and finding non. I call this terrorism. America is to be blamed in Afghanistan, this was bound to happen. U breed wolves and then expect that they wont bite you. This was all done by America and for how long will they stay here in Afghanistan, some day they will leave and all this will haunt america again. You are not protecting the people of Afghanistan or Iraq from People like Osama or Sadam, you are creating hatred in peoples mind which will eventually haunt america latter. In other words America cleaning up for Israel…


  • Naeem
    Sep 28, 2011 - 2:03PM

    The US is the pre-eminent terrorist nation of the world. Consider the following:
    a. It invaded Iraq without any locus standi.
    b. They manufactured the “rebellion” in Libya to oust the Ghaddafi regime, so that they could usurp its oil resources. And they used elements of Al-Qaeda for that!
    c. They engineered the ouster of Iranian nationalist Prime Minister Mossadeq, invated Haiti, brought war to Panama, nuked Japan, when it was ready to surrender; the litany of American atrocities is interminable.
    The Haqqanis were “created” by the US to combat the Soviets. But above all, who invited them to Afghanistan? Now that for all practical purposes, they have lost the war in Afghanistan; they need a fall-guy. And of course, the elections are coming up too.
    All nations do endeavor to protect their self-interests and morality does not play any part in it (not that I support terrorism); but if hob-nobing with Haqqanis serve the national security interests of Pakistan, then so be it!
    The bottomline is that Pakistan has to pre-empt the American plans to out-sourse the “running ” of Afghanistan to India in the near future.


  • Beta
    Sep 28, 2011 - 2:31PM

    you cannot win a war with an ally who shares enemy’s bed, so time to kick the alliance or the enemy. Recommend

  • larki desi
    Sep 28, 2011 - 2:46PM

    Seems to me that Pakistan is like the faithful servant of the western powers, who order what they want and when they want and the servant has to obey or else what?
    Now things have changed the servant seems tired and fed up and will not play as he was supposed to do. What choices does the employer have. Get a new servant?


  • Khan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 2:58PM

    Harbored? Please elaborate … To my knowledge when you are sweeping a place you shouldn’t leave a door open and throw all the garbage to another room … And when your sweepers are in hundred thousands with all sophisticated technology … OBL was a criminal but he was not born in Pakistan, was brought to our land and then when he was living in Afghanistan, was again pushed in to our country.
    He crossed the border because Pentagon wanted him to, otherwise they would have known better about the escape route he had and could have started their sweep from that side to close the only escape route .. There were 5 million refugees who crossed over to Pakistan during that days and every day around 50 thousand people still cross it without any checks … If we were to harbor him we could have done it in better ways .. and Would not have let a single American in Abbottabad.
    America started Afghanistan operation to oust Taliban govt because they harbored their enemy No 1 .. then why no one in the Pentagon or in American military resigned for failure to capture him during the operation despite spending $trillions ?


  • Khan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 3:08PM

    @Lee P:
    No Lee, we are a small country with limited technology and have no intention of any hostility with US or NATO … But the problem with us human is that we are always biased due to some borders that we have created on the only planet we have.
    To be fair the problem lies in US policy … There are Afghan provinces bordering Pakistan that are completely under Taliban’s control and Nato/US has no intention of retaking them ..
    Then if we launch an operation Haqqanis will take shelter there thus they will come out and start attacking our cities with their near to 10,000 savages.
    If US, isn’t looking for a scapegoat and is really interested in getting rid of Haqqanis who don’t respect our laws too by crossing in to another country and waging a war over there, then Why don’t they first re-take those provinces so these people will have no where to run and take shelter ? Without that happening … these people will wait another year and when most of US/Nato troops are gone, they will create havoc in our cities which remaining US troops will sit and watch from their Red Zone in Kabul.


  • Akash
    Sep 28, 2011 - 4:01PM

    So many think that because these rag tag militia can kill innocents and blow themselves up in unconventional war, they are winning… wow what a thinking.

    By the way Veitnam and Afganistan are two different wars for different reasons. But alas we know how much everyone loves going down in history.. CIA did this.. USA did that… SO.. big deal. Please for your sake clean the mess now.Recommend

  • Khan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 4:27PM

    @Troll be gone II:
    You need a lesson in history and need to analyze the reasons behind USSR defeat ..
    There were economic reasons due to which USSR had to withdraw .. They had weak economy unlike USA and European countries … and had no trade partners or exports. Their only export was their military equipment which no one wanted to buy baring two or three countries.
    Million of people are living here without paying taxes .. eating, using roads, schools / universities and taking free advantage of our healthcare system which increase the demand of everything from food to real estate .. even people of middle class can not buy their only house.
    No one can occupy any country forever and withdrawing doesn’t mean loss … You have to take in to account how many casualties each side has suffered.
    Red Army lost around 18,000 soldiers and there were over 1 Million casualties on Afghan part along with 6 million people migrated to Pakistan & Iran and had to leave their every thing behind … that shows who really won the war and who lost it .. Yes USSR collapsed but that’s not because of any one’s bravery but due to the fact they had no exports and were spending on the war uselessly which was stupid thing to do Recommend

  • Maoist
    Sep 28, 2011 - 5:45PM

    Its not Pakistan, but US which needs to demonstrate its seriousness in tackling issues. They need to establish writ in Afghanistan before expecting anything from Pakistan.


  • khan
    Sep 28, 2011 - 6:34PM

    Perhaps it is time Pakistan established its writ in the tribal areas. All this talk of sovereignty doesn’t make much sense considering we have almost zero control of North Waziristan and some of the other FATA areas. Until then we will be targeted for it, fairly or unfairly.

    The world knows that our generals have historically relied on militant proxies as part of strategic policy. Unfortunately no one seems to believe us when we say that we have no linkage with the Haqqani Network. Perception is what carries the day.


  • Sep 28, 2011 - 7:31PM

    There is no question of “saving face” or making any other country our “scapegoat” in the War on Terror, especially since we have pledged a long term commitment to the people of Afghanistan extending far after the draw-down of our troops. It is a known fact that terrorists are using safe havens in both Pakistan and Afghanistan from where they plan and execute their terrorist actions. In the past decade, Pakistan has realized that terrorism is not only a threat to the United States but also to itself and the rest of the world. Therefore, since then Pakistan has been a partner in fighting against terrorism. We fully acknowledge the sacrifices and the contributions made by the Pakistani people and military. We have both coordinated and shared information with each other regarding numerous targets that have been captured by the Pakistani military.

    As part of this continued cooperation and coordination, we have frequent dialogues with our Pakistani counterparts regarding the Haqqani Network, and we are working on coming to an agreement in respect to denying them a safe haven on the Pakistani soil. Eradication of all these terrorist groups, regardless of whether they are a threat to Pakistan or only to other countries, is still in the long term interest of Pakistan. Time after time, we have stated that the number of terrorists that have been captured or killed on Pakistani soil has happened due to the cooperation and partnership of Pakistan.

    It is true that Pakistan has not taken steps against all terrorist networks, but even as we continue to work with them to resolve this issue, we must recognize that Pakistan has lost more than tens of thousands of lives to terrorism since 2003. We hope that people would refrain from hyper speculating and creating a false notion that we are going to start a war with Pakistan. Provoking this paranoia is not beneficial, as both sides are determined to work together against a common threat.

    MAJ Taylor,
    DET – U.S. Central Command


  • Cautious
    Sep 28, 2011 - 7:41PM

    When the USA politicians and generals meet with the public the people of America ask them why Pakistan harbors/supports the same terrorist who are targeting their children in the military. They also ask why America doesn’t do something about it. Those are legitimate questions which deserve honest answers even if those answers may offend Pakistan.


  • MD
    Sep 28, 2011 - 8:12PM

    You are absolutely right sir, to say that an illiterate bunch of Afghani villagers defeated USSR is laughable. Russians are well known for their fighting skills and steely nerves throughout history. They routed Napoleon’s largest army of the contemporary times. Less than 10% of French troops could reach home. Everyone knows how Russians, virtually singlehandedly, defeated Nazi army, known as a greatest war machine of the time. How can we forget the bloodiest battle of the human history, the battle of Stalingrad where Russians soldiers showed astonishing bravery and fought well equipped Germans against all odds (with literally one rifle for two soldiers) and ultimately won the battle, decisively turning the tide of the war.
    Whenever, I read the comments of some of the Pakistani friends boasting about defeat of the Soviets at the hands of the “mujahideen” I cannot help myself from laughing.
    Now another myth is emerging i.e the US economy is going down because of Afghan or Iraq war. That is ridiculous, it was the subprime mortgage crisis that triggered economic meltdown. It was the dishonesty of some of the bankers that created an artificial profit bubble, but, in reality there was no money. All that was left was distorted balance sheets, even the investment itself vanished away into the thin air.
    But, still, American economy is the largest in the world ($14.3 trillion), almost over four times larger than China which has a population of 1.5 billion people compared with US’ 300 million. Besides, the US fought many wars before (ww1&2, Korea, Vietnam, First gulf war etc.) but, there was no negative impact on American economy.
    Therefore, those who are prematurely writing obituary of the US, must understand that they are badly mistaken.


  • Straight_Talk
    Sep 28, 2011 - 9:34PM

    @haider: What about the consequences ?
    Plz take the pain to comment the kind of response you would expect ?


  • Digvijay Singh
    Sep 28, 2011 - 9:59PM

    As a secular Indian I want to stress that America should propagating negative opinions about the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. They need to build bridges between the Muslim and non-Muslim world for the sake of global peace and harmony. Why are the Americans so obsessed with a single outfit — the so-called Haqqani network? Where is the proof that they have done any harm to the world? Have they ever bombed or maimed people or been enemies of women’s education and empowerment? There is no concrete evidence of their anti-social activities and without evidence every person must be treated innocent.

    In this moment of reckoning for Pakistan, I want to express my solidarity with the Inter Services Intelligence directorate which has been doing monumental work in not only preserving the sanctity of Pakistan’s sovereignty but at the same time contributing to shared peace and prosperity of the South Asia.


  • Diogenes
    Sep 28, 2011 - 10:42PM

    How come Pakistan with its 6 lakh strong active armed forces is so scared of the 10,000-strong Haqqani network but beats its chest and roars at the thought of India’s 13 lakh strong armed forces? Is it really scared of the Haqqani network or is risking its existence to satisfy the strategic dreams of Pakistan? Recommend

  • Gen Pasha (retd)
    Sep 29, 2011 - 12:56AM

    Pakistan has a simple choice to make – do we side with the civilised world or do we continue to harbour terrorists who have kill more Pakistanis in a year then the Americans have since 2001.


  • mfhussain
    Sep 29, 2011 - 2:19AM

    “30000 have died” hmm I wonder who killed them? Could it be the religious proxies that we had been nurturing!! And now they are haunting us?


  • haider
    Sep 29, 2011 - 9:25AM


    By getting rid of the nation controlling america. We loose everything ok!!!.. We have nothing to loose, but seriously Israel has alot to loose in this… We cannot reach America ok Fine but we can surly reach Israel…


  • haider
    Sep 29, 2011 - 9:29AM

    The best Part is America the Greatest Military Power for the past 9 year only has control on two place in Afghanistan Bagram Air base and Green Zones in Kabul… Seriously US is taking about safe heavens inside Pakistan…


  • Asad
    Sep 29, 2011 - 1:30PM

    @United States Central Command

    Why do you go out and attack countries thousands of miles away, rather than securing your own borders? The Haqqani network and other splinter networks are always going to attack ‘foreign’ forces on their land.Imagine if aliens from another planet captured the US and made massive armed forces bases in your country, ousted your government and set up a new puppet government in the USA, will the US army or CIA not carry attacks on the aliens, similar to the Haqqanis? also will the American people not hate the aliens for controlling their country? The Afghan and Pakistanis are no different.
    The simple solution to this is for the US army to pull out of Afganistan and Pakistan completely and work with the governments of these countries.

    If only you thought of others as you think for yourself….


  • m-s-khan
    Sep 29, 2011 - 9:44PM

    Totally wrong…as CIA had maked haqqani network and ALQAIDA against Russia war…so now maybe Haqqani is controled or powered by Russia against American war…now America have need to blam on its creator itself CIA that why CIA Create it or its operator now a days on Russia…but to be noted that how America is called itself super power and CIA caled world best agencies as they still afraid from a smal network..BIG SHAME ON AMERICA AND CIA… Good Luck America Against itself


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