Haqqani network: Pakistan’s military ready to address US concerns

Published: October 8, 2011
Email
The corps commanders are reported to have  discussed possible implications of the recent strategic partnership deal that Afghanistan signed with India. PHOTO: INP

The corps commanders are reported to have discussed possible implications of the recent strategic partnership deal that Afghanistan signed with India. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: 

The Pakistan Army is ready to address the US concerns vis-à-vis the Haqqani network but shows no signs of going after them in the North Waziristan tribal region where, Washington believes, the insurgent group is headquartered. 

At a meeting in Rawalpindi on Friday, the top military commanders expressed their willingness to lower tensions with the United States by narrowing down differences on the Haqqani network.

“Pakistan wants a constructive engagement with the US to deal with the Haqqani issue,” an official familiar with the development told The Express Tribune.

The official, who wished not to be named, ruled out the possibility of a military operation in North Waziristan – a region dubbed by the US as the most dangerous place on earth.

“Use of force is not the answer to every problem,” he said repeating the recent statement by Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Addressing the Pak-Saudi joint military exercises in Mangla on Thursday, Gen Kayani reportedly said that military operations were not the ideal way of dealing with every issue.

His remarks are being seen as Pakistan’s hardening stance on the North Waziristan operation despite the mounting US pressure.

However, it is unclear what exactly Pakistan is offering to the US as an alternative to a military operation in order to deal with the Haqqanis.

A senior military official, when approached, referred to the foreign ministry’s last news briefing in which it said that Pakistan’s policy was guided by its national interests.

“We have our own national interests … we have certain redlines and we are very clear that we won’t compromise on them,” said the official who spoke after being assured that his name would not be revealed.

The corps commanders also discussed possible implications of the recent strategic partnership deal that Afghanistan signed with India.The commanders voiced concerns on allegations by senior Afghan officials that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was involved in the assassination of former Afghan president Bhurhanuddin Rabbani.

A brief statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) did not mention any of these issues. “The conference was a part of regular monthly meetings. The forum took a comprehensive overview of the routine professional matters aimed at enhancing proficiency of the army,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter met with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to discuss the ongoing tensions between their countries.

“Bilateral relations and the regional situation were discussed. Both agreed to work together for strengthening bilateral cooperation and for coordination on regional issues,” said a brief statement issued by the Foreign Office.

An American diplomat commenting on the meeting said that the two countries were making efforts to sort out their differences.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (17)

  • MarkH
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:40PM

    “Use of force is not the answer to every problem,”

    Nobody ever said it was the answer to every problem. But, it just so happens that it is when there’s a kill and obey or be randomly killed mentality on even just one side of the conflict. The US will not submit to anyone and “obey” or “give them what they want” when it’s a demand or a threat. Let alone a simple militant group and with what they’ve done, there is no way it can be left open ended because it’s about protecting people. There can’t be a forgive, there won’t be a forget and there will be an impressively large negative response to the idea of letting it slide.

    Forget governments. Nobody wants to be friends with the Haqqani network even if the general idea of it is floating around, they want them erased and they will be eventually. It’s just a matter of who wants to go down with them.

    Recommend

  • Gen Pasha (retd)
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:57PM

    Half measures never work – either commit to do the job properly and wipe the barbarians out or don’t bother

    Recommend

  • Tariq Ziad
    Oct 8, 2011 - 7:34PM

    Pakistan should serve her interests rather than other country’s interests.
    USA always used Pakistan for her interests and then dumped Pakistan.
    Recommend

  • Ziad Hamid
    Oct 8, 2011 - 11:24PM

    US has not made enough payments to cover the past losses of pakistan. The difference is in the billions.

    Recommend

  • Andrea
    Oct 9, 2011 - 12:34AM

    @Tariq Ziad: I agree with you. Pakistan must look after her own interests first since we have allowed ourselves to be used by others for too long. Think about how we were left high and dry after sacrificing so much to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan.Recommend

  • AH
    Oct 9, 2011 - 1:45AM

    If you think America is not bowing down, think again. Pakistan will not fight Haqqanis unless it’s a mock one. If you do it yourselves, than make sure you are trady to tackle Pakistan Army. Otherwise, don’t embarrass yourselves.

    Recommend

  • FK
    Oct 9, 2011 - 10:34AM

    @MarkH:

    Mark, the question you seem to be dodging is what evidence is there to support the accusations that the Haqqani’s are attacking the US in Kabul. Ejan Haider wrote an article for this newspaper wherein he details the number of NATO/US casualties in the three provinces that share a border with NWA. Said details reveal the total body count (including friendly fire casualties and accidents). The total casualties in those three provinces are less than the casualties being suffered in other parts of Afghanistan. This reveals that the real threat lies elsewhere in Afghanistan, and not on the border with NWA.

    Another point to consider is the local terrain. You cannot hit a target in Kabul, and then “run” back across the border to NWA. By road, the journey is several hours. On foot it is much much longer. In either case, there is sufficient time for NATO/ISAF/US forces to deal with any alleged insurgent before any alleged broder is crossed. An army with $600 billion/year in defense spending should be able to intercept and take out any threat during the hours it would take to cross into NWA. It seems naive to say that an army can take out anyone, anywhere and at any time, yet allow a bunch of rag tag wanna be terrorists to “escape across the border”.

    The real question to ask: if the war on terror is won tomorrow, will the US military/industrial complex still get their fat paychecks? War has been a business for a long time, and for America, business has been good. Anyway, just sharing my thoughts as a fellow American citizen. Later brah.

    Recommend

  • antanu
    Oct 9, 2011 - 11:06AM

    @MarkH:
    True…but US believes in the philosophy of using force at the minimum instigation.Think of Iraq…

    Recommend

  • hassan
    Oct 9, 2011 - 11:52AM

    Did we not, a few days back, beat out chests and declare that we will not bow down to US pressure? Did we not raise our pitch shouting that we have nothing to do with these Haqqa guys? Did our Foreign Minister not declare that the same Haqqanis were once the CIA’s blue-eyed boys?

    Having made these pronouncements loud and clear, what is the need to address the concerns? US has accused us of direct collusion. We have already stoutly denied it. What is there now to address their concerns? Is it because we are now feeling pinch of trickling down of aid?

    We are playing a dangerous double game; we are molding public opinion against US and in private, we do everything to cosy upto US mainly to get money from them. I mean, will any guy who gives you money, will respect you after that?

    Recommend

  • biryani
    Oct 9, 2011 - 2:36PM

    it took army leadership 10 years to understand ? =) u don’t get trust like that fellas… its yet another game to protect american interests in the region

    Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Oct 9, 2011 - 5:28PM

    @Gen Pasha (retd):
    I always like as well as appreciate your crisp and logical comments. The military’s statement that they are ready to address US concern without undertaking operations against Haqqanis would enrage the Americans even further. US and the rest of the world cannot comprehend why Pakistan continues to patronise militant organisations after declaring itself as a victim of the terrorism repeatedly and suffering at their hands thousands of casualities of innocent civilians and military personnel.

    Recommend

  • mawali
    Oct 9, 2011 - 6:02PM

    Don’t cower down to the US pressure. You don’t have a fight with the Haqqani network. Pakistan’s interests should always be first. If the Haqqani network represents fundamentalism then aggression against it is only going to make matters worse for Pakistan not the US.

    Recommend

  • Farukh Khan
    Oct 9, 2011 - 11:02PM

    @Gen Pasha (retd):
    Good Name adopted , RSS NazioFascist Hindu Miscreant Terrorist !!!!
    No One Is a Bigger barbarian than your Nazio
    Fascist Hindu Terror State in the region. 100,000 Kashmiris have been killed and disappeared. First let’s bring you and your terrorist Govt. to face Worse Human rights crimes. There is Not bigger terrorist than The terrorist Hindu Regime!!
    Afghan or Pakistan Issue has nothing to do with Terrorist Indian regime. Mind Your Own Hindu Business.

    Recommend

  • Domlurian
    Oct 10, 2011 - 1:34AM

    @Farukh Khan, don’t you have Hindus in Pakistan?

    Recommend

  • j. von hettlingen
    Oct 10, 2011 - 3:37AM

    Do the Pakistani military and the ISI have different agendas? Don’t they share the same goal – to maintain security in the country?
    The Pakistan military forces combat the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), because it wants to destabilise the country. Yet the ISI is alledged to be on a good footing with Jalaluddin Haqqani, who is based in North Waziristan “a region dubbed by the US as the most dangerous place on earth”. Members of the TTP are taking refuge there too, after having been driven out of South Waziristan. They are holding two Swiss as hostages and demand for the release of Dr. Aafiia Siddiqui in exchange. Nobody knows whether they are still alive!
    If using force is not the answer to Pakistan’s problems to insurgency, raises the question how close the ISI and the military work together? The people in Pakistan need peace and security, as they have suffered enough already.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Oct 10, 2011 - 5:58AM

    Farukh Khan : Forget about unconnected ranting,why dont u write something relevant to this article.
    Pak has not spelt out what their “national interests” are and how they are safeguarded by protecting haqqanis. US has not given any concrete evidence for the actions of haqqani network at least in the public. So expect these kind of rantings from both the side and oneday you will find Abbotabad repeated again. Remember US claimed they didnt have solid evidence for OBL’s presence in Abbotabad.

    Recommend

  • BruteForce
    Oct 10, 2011 - 8:32AM

    Pakistan will do what it has to, US will do what it has to. At the end, US has the option of deescalating and get out of the region, while Pakistan doesn’t have that option. Plus, US has a big stick called Economic power to beat Pakistan with. Recommend

More in Pakistan