Obama paves way for Haqqani network to be designated as an FTO

Published: August 11, 2012
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Congres had passed a bill which seeks to label the Haqqani network as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Congres had passed a bill which seeks to label the Haqqani network as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

NEW YORK: The US President Barack Obama on Saturday removed a key obstacle in labelling the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation.

President Obama on Saturday signed the Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act of 2012 into law. The law requires the US Secretary of State to submit a report on whether the group meets the legal criteria for being designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation.

The Secretary of State will have to file the report within 30 days.

Many lawmakers in the US Congress have urged the Obama administration to designate the Haqqani Network as an FTO. The group has been accused of spearheading attacks on US forces and the US embassy in Afghanistan.

The Obama administration is reportedly reluctant to put the group on the terrorism list while US envoys are trying to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban that may have included the Haqqani network.

But in pushing for the measure, lawmakers noted that those talks have been halted since last year.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, called the resolution’s passage in July “a significant development.”

“The Haqqanis are engaged in a reign of terror in Afghanistan and the network poses the single largest threat for IEDs our soldiers face in that country,” he said.

“They actively plot and kill US and allied soldiers and routinely harm innocent Afghan civilian men, women and children in their path,” he said.

In June during a trip to Afghanistan, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta emphasised the key role the Haqqani network has played in numerous attacks and called on Pakistan to take action against it.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Zaikam
    Aug 11, 2012 - 9:31PM

    What has taken them so long? It will be very interesting to see on what note Americans leave Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Faisal Khan
    Aug 11, 2012 - 9:34PM

    Well i suppose another SWAT like operation is in the making in north waziristan this time…

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  • sam
    Aug 11, 2012 - 9:39PM

    Who has killed more civilians.US or Haqqanis? how hard is to speak truth this century.even mass killers act as most civilised innocent people on earth.Obama personally orders each drone attack in Pakistan which has killed so many civilians,including women and children.how can he sleep peacefully after killing some cute children.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Aug 11, 2012 - 9:48PM

    @Zaikam:
    Good wishes, America is not going to leave Afghanistan for a very long time. They are just reducing their number of soldiers to bare minimum and real game will take place after that. My guess is next destination with a solid and minimal presence right in Pakistan will take place in months to come.

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  • Javed Afridi
    Aug 11, 2012 - 10:18PM

    Mark my words, US would never designate Haqqani as an FTO. All they want is a war between Haqqani and Pakistan. Watch out Pak Army !!

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  • Raj - USA
    Aug 11, 2012 - 10:22PM

    @AnisAqeel:
    @Zaikam:
    In other words, America will keep its words. American troops will leave Afghanistan and move into Pakistan.

    American and NATO presence in Afghanistan has greatly reduced terror acts elsewhere in the world, particularly USA and Europe. No more London or Spain bombings. Had USA not taken such strong action, such terror acts would have spread throughout the world.

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Aug 11, 2012 - 10:28PM

    America is likely to create more enemies for itself.

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  • Nasir Mahmood
    Aug 11, 2012 - 10:36PM

    Obama is taking this action just to satisfy the people of America who have become fed up from its policies.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Aug 11, 2012 - 10:53PM

    @Raj – USA:
    This region is too crucial for the USA and if Pakistan (our military is Pakistan) won’t be flexible and give way to their sovereignty mantra then we may be on high alert for existential threat.

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  • BaBa Blacksheep
    Aug 11, 2012 - 10:53PM

    Americans.Will it make any difference on ground.Today if they ban Haqqani group,tomorrow they change the name and call them self “Preshani” group and keep the business as usual.Recommend

  • observer
    Aug 11, 2012 - 10:58PM

    @Nasir Mahmood

    Obama is taking this action just to satisfy the people of America who have become fed up from its policies.

    Fed up with whose policies?

    If the people of USA are fed up with Obama’s ‘policies’ then how does a further extension of those very policies ‘satisfy the people of America’?

    If it does ‘satisfy’ then obviously the people are not fed up.

    Being logical is neither injurious to your health, nor has it been declared to be a sin by any religion.

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  • Wahab Khan Afridi
    Aug 11, 2012 - 11:01PM

    there is onething for sure that US is either a world biggest fool or they are playing a smart move ahead in this whole war on terror game..

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  • Syed Shah
    Aug 11, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Why should we suffer for Afghanistan always. Oh God what has Afghanistan given us? They opposed the creation of Pakistan always and we always sided with them while they love India and want to be their satellite. We keep paying heavy price for Afghanistan.

    Russia invades Afghanistan we jump in to save and do the dirty job for US and the West who were trying their best to neutralise USSR. Why didn’t we let them (US & West) fend for themselves? No we are the protector of Islam we had to jump in and open our borders for Afghanis to invade Pakistan with their tribal mindset. Why didn’t they open their doors for Afghans?

    Afghans should have atleast been asked to deposit their weapons on the border with Pakistan army and ensured none entered Pakistan without due papers and without arms. We did nothing of the kind. We let in millions of armed men in the country.

    One of the government prosecutor once said in court if 29 million armed Afghans are sent back from Karachi there will be peace like before. But we do nothing of the sort. We bury that news. Was shown on Geo just once.

    And a personal revenge statement that creates bad blood and hatred among people is drummed about and broadcast 24×7 for months. A denial complete interview is shown just once. Who is pulling the strings in the media one wonders?

    Now Afghanistan is not a light issue. I do not think we should take it easy. We have to show toughness in how we deal with them at-home and abroad. Tread with care. Zero tolerance must be shown to terrorism that is if we want to be counted among civilised nations.

    Now there is no need for us to show any sympathy to an extra-constitutional body – the Haqqani network!.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:03AM

    @Wahab Khan Afridi:
    We are the worlds biggest fools. And the simple proof is that we think that the USA doesn’t know what is going on in Afghanistan or in Pakistan and continue dolling both countries with their peoples hard earned money!!! Yet they know where Bin Laden was or out of several containers could find out four grapes with poisonous substance.

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  • Aug 12, 2012 - 12:29AM

    It is strange that Pakistan, Afghanistan & America governement just pass only comments in press. Pakistan blaming afghan government to lunch strong military operation in Kunar & Noristan province the safe heavens of Tareek-e- Taliban Swat. Whlie afghan & American always Pressurizes pakistan to lunch operation against Haqqani Network. my personal opinion is that every one want their share & future goals. American wants a safe waye to withdraw forces, Afghan government is worry about his future secturity, While Pakistan wants to ensure their 40,000 lives sacrifice in war on terror and his Current/ previous role in Afghan war. All three actor need to play his role very sincerly to make a sucessful drama.
    becuse other foreces are trying to flop the last episode .

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  • Prius
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:30AM

    @anisAqeel

    Lol

    America has already started heading to the exits. What a silly spin you concocted.

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:36AM

    For us it would be better to ask the Haqqanis to leave instead of waging a war against them. I am myself totally against extremism and terrorism and vociferously criticize it, but the question that requires our utmost attention is should we turn them against us by attacking them and let them lose upon ourselves. Do we have a backup plan, as USA seems to have a meticulous plan of his own. If any thing we can learn from history is that USA cannot be trusted at all and she only cares for her national interests even at the cost of her ally. USA always reneged on promises/assurance made to us and left us alone as in 1962, 1971, 1989, and now during Afghanistan invasion. We should not make decisions in haste and without a plan.

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  • antanu g
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:49AM

    it appears that US efforts to woo haqqanis failed

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  • gp65
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:27AM

    @Javed Afridi: “Mark my words, US would never designate Haqqani as an FTO. All they want is a war between Haqqani and Pakistan. “

    The lawmaking process is a very serious one in US. If Obama has signed the bill and it is now waiting for Hillary’s designation, it has a very good chance of becoming a lwa unless army does a Swatstyle operation in North Waziristan.

    Oh and by the way you are implying that US wanting Pakistan army to take on Haqqanis is some ulterior motive. Far from it – all their calls for’Do more’ referred to exactly that i.e. take on the Haqqanis. Pakistan has so far chosen to take money as a NATO/ISAF partner while simultaneously providing safe havens to Haqqanis. It is this game which will have to end.

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  • Domlurian
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:53AM

    @Syed Shah “Why should we suffer for Afghanistan always. Oh God what has Afghanistan given us?”

    They gave you Ghaznavi, Ghauri, Abdali, Babur etc.(“List of missiles of Pakistan” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ListofmissilesofPakistan). Aren’t those the names of your missiles? If you can name your missiles after Afghans don’t you have the courtesy of at least letting them live in peace in your country?

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  • Domlurian
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:04AM

    @Syed Shah,
    Look at this link and the para from it quoted below:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghaznavi%28missile%29#citenote-5

    “In 2006, the Afghan Minister of Information and Culture criticized Pakistan for naming its lethal ballistic missiles and other weaponry after Afghan kings and rulers (i.e. Abdali, Ghaznavid, Ghorid and Mughal rulers) arguing that their names should be bracketed with academic, cultural and peace-promoting institutions, not with tools of destruction and killing. Pakistan declined to change the missiles’ names stating that these Muslim rulers are considered heroes in Pakistan as well, and naming missiles after them is not controversial.[6][7] The Afghan government has not raised this issue since then.”

    Another link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4740570.stm

    Do you still consider Afghans to be a burden after the immense contribution they have made to your culture, religion and every thing else , so much so that you consider them as your heroes and name your missiles after them?

    P.S. that the Afghan minister quoted above considers Ghaznavi, Ghori, Abdali etc as “academic, cultural and peace-promoting” is a laughing matter, by the way. I, in no way, endorse his views.

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  • Nand
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:21AM

    Its either Pak takes the Haqqani Network out or be ready for boots.

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  • mashaal waqar
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:44AM

    @syed shah
    we dnt jump in to protect islam or save anyone. we’ve done whatever we have done for our own vested interests. whether it be during the USSR invation or any time else. Every state does that. You just have to be smart about it so that you get away with it. We were never smart enough. The US is.

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  • Aug 12, 2012 - 3:05AM

    The Haqqanis should declare the US a foreign terrorist organisation!

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  • Wiki
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:51AM

    It is the result of zaheer visits to amreeka… I bet so….Recommend

  • Anti america
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:20AM

    Hey america, sow some more seed.

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  • Anti america
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:24AM

    sow more seed america, they will work you out in future

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  • Rameez
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:40AM

    Yes they are terrorist and should be dealt with. Pakistan suffered enough from such terrorist groups. I dont know why some of my Pakistan fellows see them as friends,

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  • nomi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:13AM

    Good move if it is brought to fruition.

    Anyone associated with the Haqqanis will also be considered criminals. And we all know who that might be.

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  • vasan
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:18AM

    Syed Shah : You started with the question and answered it yourself.

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  • Mahakaalchakra
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:39AM

    This action of declaring Haqqani network as terrorist outfit will lead to Pakistan being declared as a terrorist sponsor nation which harbors, protects and directly aids and abates terrorism in the world. USA government then has to cut-off relations with any country declared as terrorist country such as Iran, Syria, Cuba and North Korea.

    Pakistan is likely to see an increasing reference to the UN Security Council Resolution 1373, which states that the state’s sovereignty means that a state is duty-bound to control its territory and obligated to not allow its land to be used by non-state actors or terrorist groups to carry out attacks against its neighbors. This resolution, adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in 2001 and thus binding on member states, obligates them to “deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens

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  • observer
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:17AM

    @Syed Shah

    if 29 million armed Afghans are sent back from Karachi there will be peace like before.

    As of April,2012, the total population of Karachi is estimated at 21 million.

    Now the question is- How do you send back 29 million armed Afghans from Karachi when the total population is less than 29 million?

    This is only a symptom of a deeper malaise. For all ills of Pakistan someone else is to be blamed. The US, if not the US then the Indians, if not the Indians then the Afghans, but never, never ever the Pakistanis.

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  • Mirza
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:48AM

    One thing for sure (mark my words if you doubt it) the US is never going to leave Afghanistan or that part of the world again at the mercy of terrorists. US have made a big investment with their money and lives to secure that area and they are not going to let it all go to waste. The example or Iraq is before our eyes. No regime in the region has come back to power after being defeated and driven out by the US.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:18AM

    Good heavens, the US Sate Department has 30 days to establish legal criteria that the Haqqanis are terrorists. I think there is a very good chance that Hillary will establish that criteria won’t she? Oh, and by the way is the legal criteria determined by Washington, or has she being given her instructions from Zion?

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  • observer
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:01PM

    @abdussamad

    The Haqqanis should declare the US a foreign terrorist organisation!

    As this declaration is done by sovereign states, Pakistan may help the Haqqanis in two ways,

    A. Pakistan may declare NWA as Azad Emirate of Haqqanistan, as in Azad Kashmir, allowing the Haqqanis to make the declaration. OR

    B. Pakistan, being a member of the Security Council of the UN, may bring this resolution on behalf of the Haqqanis.

    All the best.

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  • Aug 12, 2012 - 5:51PM

    Were they designated as friends before this?

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  • Sexton Blake
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:23AM

    @Mirza:
    * “No power has come back” *. You are correct in regard to Iraq and Libya, but the world has become a little more complex since then. Saddam Hussein, in Iraq, complied with US requests to attack Iran and later to disarm. The silly man trusted the US and once Iraq was helpless the brave Americans moved in, destroyed his country and murdered him. In regard to Libya the Russian/Chinese allowed the Americans/UK/France to declare Libya a no fly zone via the UN Security Council and this allowed the US/UK/France to carpet bomb Libya and subsequently murder Colonel Gaddafi also. This will not happen in Syria or Afghanistan. The Taliban, Syria, Russia and China quite rightly do not trust the US/NATO combo.

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  • Syed Shah
    Aug 14, 2012 - 9:17AM

    @Domlurian: and others:
    They are Muslim heroes who know no boundaries. Who are these present day narrow minded mullaite Aghans to say so? They must bring back the old royal family of Afghanistan which will not talk this language.

    It is the Muslim glory that matters not regional glories and by the way are you comparing these thugs of TTP to the heroes of Islam and the Muslim World? What non-sense. They cannot even be compared to the present day Taliban of Afghanistan who are fighting a foreign occupying force.

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