Haqqani network denies links to ISI: BBC

Published: October 3, 2011
Afghan officials blame Taliban for Rabbani's assassination, say killer was Pakistani. PHOTO: FILE

Afghan officials blame Taliban for Rabbani's assassination, say killer was Pakistani. PHOTO: FILE

KABUL: The operational leader of Taliban-allied militant group the Haqqani network denied any recent links between his network and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in an interview with the BBC released on Monday.

Sirajuddin Haqqani also denied that the network killed Afghan peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani

Haqqani said the network, blamed for a string of high-profile recent attacks on Western targets in the Afghan capital Kabul, were not linked to Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI.

“We haven’t killed Burhanuddin Rabbani and this has been said many times by the spokespersons of the Islamic Emirate,” he said, referring to the Taliban.

Afghan officials have blamed the Taliban for the September 20 turban bombing that killed Rabbani in Kabul, saying the killer was Pakistani and that it was plotted by the Afghan Taliban’s leadership body, the Quetta Shura, in Pakistan.

However, no Afghan officials have specifically accused the Haqqani network over the killing.

President Hamid Karzai is reviewing his strategy for talking peace with the Taliban in the wake of the killing of Rabbani, who was chairman of the High Peace Council, his spokesman has said.

Haqqani also denied any recent links between his network and the ISI.

He said during the 1980s Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, mujahedeen fighters “had contacts with the intelligence agencies of Pakistan and other countries, but after the invasion by the Americans, there have never been contacts by intelligence agencies of other countries which could be effective for us.”

The Haqqani network was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a warlord who made his name during the 1980s jihad against the Soviets, when he received funding from Pakistan and the CIA.

But his son Sirajuddin now effectively runs the network, which has been blamed for recent attacks including a 19-hour siege in Kabul last month that targeted the US embassy and international military headquarters.

The United States has recently stepped up pressure on Pakistan to tackle Haqqani rear bases on its soil.

The BBC, which posted the comments on its website, said it conducted the interview by submitting written questions to Haqqani, who then recorded an audio response.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Gul Khan
    Oct 3, 2011 - 11:18AM

    It is really a slap in the face for Karzai administration as well as US.


  • ksr158
    Oct 3, 2011 - 11:23AM

    The only “good Taliban”, is a dead Taliban


  • Diggvijay Singh
    Oct 3, 2011 - 11:26AM

    We haven’t killed Burhanuddin Rabbani and this has been said many times by the spokespersons of the Islamic Emirate.– Sirajuddin Haqqani

    The truth is out in the open now. I always knew deep in my heart that this fraudulent allegation was a conspiracy by third party anti-Pakistan agents and the enemies of the Muslim world to malign Pakistan’s reputation at the international stage. After this clarifying statement by Mr. Siraj Haqqani I hope all sensible people will stop pointing their fingers at Pakistan.


  • Bipul Rajput
    Oct 3, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Haqqani network denies links to ISI” – how very convenient.


  • Mirza
    Oct 3, 2011 - 11:29AM

    He is as reliable as Pakistani establishment. They are two sides of the same coin. If Haqqani would not testify for Pakistan, then who would?


  • vasan
    Oct 3, 2011 - 11:36AM

    Haqqani group and the other violent mobs do speak the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth. Any takers ??


  • Oct 3, 2011 - 11:50AM

    Why are the Haqqanis denying these links, when the existence of these links will lead to more confrontation between Pak army and the US? Something that they should want? strategically speaking i.e.


  • Aamir
    Oct 3, 2011 - 11:57AM

    Wow BBC has links with Haqqanis…great news. What is the response from US??


  • Malatesh
    Oct 3, 2011 - 12:00PM

    Haqqani network was forced by ISI to deny their links with ISI.


  • fighting falcon
    Oct 3, 2011 - 12:32PM

    wow ! A honest terrorist..anyone seen a honest terrorist..here we go..even terrorist disown pakistan..huh


  • Furqan
    Oct 3, 2011 - 12:59PM

    hmm ties with BBC means ties with secret services of UK and that means ties with CIA. and we still have people blaming the ISI in the comments.


  • Antanu
    Oct 3, 2011 - 1:02PM

    talibans have one quality…they promptly own their actions. They are not like othe hindu terrorists who blamed yheir on muslims in india. So if taliban says it is mnot involved then the certainly dont.


  • Gul Khan
    Oct 3, 2011 - 1:05PM

    Haqqanis were basically created by CIA (no doubt)…but why is it so faithful to Pakistan and ISI??


  • mohammad
    Oct 3, 2011 - 1:20PM

    if he had accepted the allegations, i bet you wouldnt have said the same thing!


  • AK
    Oct 3, 2011 - 1:27PM

    Somehow, there are dumb people here who find Karzai’s and US statements about Haqqanis more credible than the Haqqani spokesmen themselves (who deny any links). Who is fooling who?


  • Salman
    Oct 3, 2011 - 2:24PM

    BBC got to interview him in Kabul or in Pakistan ? Kabul right!

    P.S its for the first time, Pakistan has not scummed into mighty American pressure. If Haqqani network doesn’t have deep roots inside Pakistan than we don’t need to conduct any operation regardless of US threats, even if they go for few air raids.


  • biryani
    Oct 3, 2011 - 2:58PM

    the golden duck is on negotiations table….. =) the plan worked


  • Diggvijay Singh
    Oct 3, 2011 - 3:07PM


    It was a telephonic or skype interview.


  • Brasstacks
    Oct 3, 2011 - 3:13PM

    @Gul Khan: Yes absolutely true, Gul Bhai. After all only Taliban can be expected to speak the truth & nothing but the truth as they are true Muslims; the Kafirs are interested in spreading lies about pristine Pak Army.


  • Bangladeshi
    Oct 3, 2011 - 3:20PM

    Why does everyone believe whatever US says. Are they some some kind of saint. Their henious & dark past is known by all except the gullible americans. They are the owns commiting genocide in afganistan for over a decade.What stake does US have in afganistan since it is 10000miles away. PAK & iran are the legitimate stake holders here not india. So PAK have every right to look after its own interest just like every other nation.


  • Brasstacks
    Oct 3, 2011 - 3:38PM

    Bhai Saheb you are another Digvijay Singh. Have courage to own up ur true identity.Recommend

  • vasan
    Oct 3, 2011 - 3:40PM

    Bangladeshi : I dont understand your argument at all. Why should anybody have a legitimate stake in Afganistan except the Afgans themselves. If I extend your logic, then India should have a legitimate stake in Pakistan and does that give a right to India to manipulate things in Pakistan blatently and openly. The world will sink if you extend this concept. It should be upto Afgans to decide where there interests lie whether in Pak or in Iran or INdia or in Timbaktu. Paks or Iranians cant decide that,.


  • Oct 3, 2011 - 6:42PM

    Ofcourse they deny them !


    Oct 3, 2011 - 6:46PM

    @Diggvijay Singh:
    I agree with your comments because Mr Siraj Haqqani is an honorable and respected person like your goodself.


  • Menon
    Oct 3, 2011 - 6:56PM

    The Earth is flat and Pakistan is the most peaceful country on Planet Earth!

    Next lie please.


  • Menon
    Oct 3, 2011 - 7:02PM

    @Antanu: .

    Here is some good news for you. Any Indian Muslim who wants to go to Pakistan and live are more than welcome to go. If things are so damn bad for Indian Muslims, how come there aren’t any massive refugee camps of Indian Muslims?

    I bet the if India is willing to accept persecuted Pakistani’s, there will be millions ready to cross to India. Want to take wager?


  • Menon
    Oct 3, 2011 - 7:03PM


    No Green Card for you. You blew it, man.


  • Bangladeshi
    Oct 3, 2011 - 7:06PM

    @vasan: exactly you are right the afgans are the real stake holders but then tell me why did the US the forgein occupier signaling out the the majority pastuns (taliban & haqqanis) and wanting a gov of minority northern alliance. Will a setup like this be sustainable and isn’t it pushing afganistan to a civil war. And why is India that claims to be a democratic peaceful nation backing this absurd US plan. Isn’t your country interfering with the lives of the afgans. So if this is how the game is being played that highly favours the minority over the majority the taliban & haqqanis have the right to seek backing from PAK & iran. Its a two way traffic bro not one way.


  • Menon
    Oct 3, 2011 - 7:09PM


    By further extending that logic, India will have claim in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and all the way to Turkmenistan according ancient Indian cartography.

    People know so little history. I understand it though, some are hell bend on inventing an Arab ancestory for themselves. The only muslims with the remotest connection to Arabs are on the Malabar coast, not in Northern Part of India. Don’t think, there is really any there either, there may some mixing of blood in the ancient times nand they do have very very distinct Mapilla Culture.


  • Babloo
    Oct 3, 2011 - 7:59PM

    @Digvijay, Salman
    Please read the full report before you comment

    “The BBC, which posted the comments on its website, said it conducted the interview by submitting written questions to Haqqani, who then recorded an audio response.”

    This is the similar to audio-video operation that used to operate out of Abootabad before May 2nd.


  • Jameel
    Oct 3, 2011 - 8:12PM

    Haqanis are bailing out ISI. Great. At least its now clear that there is a link.


  • Grace
    Oct 3, 2011 - 8:59PM

    @Jameel: I think you forget that the Haqqanis were intitially created by the West to defeat the Soviets- just like all the present day fighters were once on the US payroll to defeat the Soviets. The Haqqanis have to show their own Afghani people that they are fighting for the Afghanis and not for foreign Pakistanis which is a common complaint used by the Northern Alliance pro India Tajiks who rule Afghanistan. You need to understand the game and ethnic conflict which is going on within Afghanistan between different ethnicities. As for Pakistan, at least it is proved that we are not invovled with these criminals. As far as I am concerned all foreigners: Arabs, Chechens, Afghanis, Uighurs, Uzbeks should all be deported. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan should be fenced like the US is doing to keep out Mexicans.


  • Diggvijay Singh
    Oct 3, 2011 - 9:05PM


    Thanks for pointing out.


  • let there be peace
    Oct 3, 2011 - 9:11PM

    @Gul Khan:
    Haqqanis were basically created by CIA (no doubt)…but why is it so faithful to Pakistan and ISI??

    Answer: Haqqanis/Taliban are children of dad CIA and mom Pak army (no doubt)… Now that there is serious problem between parents, they are siding with the mother which gave birth to them and raised them instead of dad who just sent some money from pardes and then disowned them both. Is it clear now?

    (btw, according to Islamic as well as Biblical traditions father has a RIGHT to kill their offspring so why shouldn’t Americans finish Taliban? )


  • BruteForce
    Oct 3, 2011 - 9:14PM

    If BLA or TTP comes out tomorrow and rightly claim they have no association with India, how many Pakistanis would believe it? BLA has many times said it is not associated with India, yet you guys blame India.

    Isn’t this double standards?Recommend

  • Nasir
    Oct 3, 2011 - 10:08PM


    And how will Afghans decide? and which Afghans? The Northern Alliance; the one supported by India? The Afghan Govt; the one where pushtoons dont have representation according to their population? Since Afghan Pashtoons are pro Pakistan, you dont talk about them. For you Afghans consist only of Northern Alliance.


  • BruteForce
    Oct 4, 2011 - 8:12AM


    Aren’t the guys who are controlling Peshawar Pashtoons? How can you claim they are pro-Pakistan?

    The very accusation you make against Northern Alliance, I can make about Pakistan and Taliban.

    Democracy is the real barometer of the people’s wishes. Pashtoons form, what, about 46% of the population? Most of them are in the areas adjoining Pakistan? The minorities always stick together to fight the common menace. It happens everywhere, so it is happening in Afghanistan too. The perception is Taliban are Pastoons and vice versa..

    If the Taliban do have majority backing then they wouldn’t mind contesting elections would they? If you really understand Democracy, you would know that the most moderate of the parties usually go onto win. Taliban’s terror you have experienced in Swat not too long ago.


  • vasan
    Oct 4, 2011 - 10:56AM

    Nasir : I think you can read my answer to Bangladeshi and Bruteforce’s message. Recommend

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