Clinton considers blacklisting Haqqani network

Obama signs law that gives 30 days to Clinton to determine if Haqqani network meets criteria of 'terrorist group'.


Afp August 15, 2012

WASHINGTION: The US State Department on Tuesday voiced concern about the Haqqani network and said it was studying whether to designate the group as terrorists after strong appeals by Congress.

President Barack Obama's administration has repeatedly demanded that Pakistan rein in the militant group active in Afghanistan and has targeted its members, but has stopped short of putting the network on the terror blacklist.

Obama on Friday signed a law - approved with overwhelming support of both parties in Congress - that gave 30 days to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to determine if the Haqqani network meets the criteria of a terrorist group.

"We share the grave concern of the Congress with regard to the activities of the Haqqani network," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

As for whether Clinton will designate the Haqqani network as terrorists, Nuland said without elaborating: "She's considering right now and reviewing the issue."

US officials have linked the Haqqani network to some of the most sensational attacks in Afghanistan including a June assault on a hotel near Kabul that killed 18 people and a siege last year of the US embassy.

The Senate and House of Representatives in their resolutions called on the State Department to add the network to its list of terrorist groups, which would freeze any Haqqani assets and make it a crime to fund them.

But the State Department, while designating certain members as terrorists, has balked at blacklisting the entire group in part because of its close ties to Pakistan.

Some analysts argue that Pakistan's relationship with the Haqqani network is more nuanced than it appears, with Islamabad primarily seeking to preserve leverage with a dangerous movement.

COMMENTS (29)

Iqbal | 9 years ago | Reply

@LionOfPunjab: Agreed. You remind me of cricket legend Ian Botham who famously said of Pakistan "its a pit, you would not even take your mother in law there". He was dead right. No cricket test playing nation want to visit Pakistan and that should tell you something.

Cautious | 9 years ago | Reply

@j. von hettlingen

What’s the use of blacklisting the Haqqani network? These fighters don’t operate outside Afghanistan and Pakistan. Do they have bank accounts abroad that can be frozen?

Your statement is correct -- however this legislation was intended to send a message to both Pakistan and the Obama administration that the USA Congress has taken note of Pakistan's duplicitous activities and has had enough. Once the Haqqani are formally listed as a terrorist organization then funding for Pakistan is going to become difficult/impossible unless Pakistan takes overt action to demonstrate it's not assisting the Haqqani - the days of allowing Haqqani sanctuary without having blow back are coming to an end.

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