Blacklisting Haqqanis 'not good': Pakistani official

By AFP
Published: September 7, 2012
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Senior Pakistani security official says the move will negatively impact future Pakistan-US relations. PHOTO: FILE

Senior Pakistani security official says the move will negatively impact future Pakistan-US relations. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Any decision by the United States to blacklist the Haqqani network as terrorists will negatively impact future relations with Pakistan, a senior Pakistani security official said Friday.

The Pakistan-based network has been blamed for some of the worst attacks in the last 10 years’ of war in Afghanistan, such as a June assault on a lakeside hotel that killed 18 people and a 2011 siege on the US embassy in Kabul.

“Frankly speaking, any decision by the US to declare the Haqqani network a terror group will not be a good sign for future Pakistan-US relations,” the official told AFP, speaking under anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

“The saner elements within the US administration do understand the complications that may arise in bilateral ties after they declare the Haqqani network a terror group,” he said.

The New York Times has reported that the Obama administration has decided to blacklist the Haqqanis and is expected to announce the decision as early as Friday.

A senior State Department official travelling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Brunei said she had made a decision and expected to submit it to Congress on Friday.

US officials have debated the move for a month, fearing that it could worsen the alliance with Pakistan after more than a year of turmoil in the delicate relationship.

The Pakistani official concurred that would likely be the case.

“Any such decision will take the relationship back to square one, ruining the improvement seen in ties between the two countries during the last couple of months,” he said.

The official said that the US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, was expected in Islamabad soon to address “this and other irritants” in relations.

Washington has long demanded that Pakistan take action against the Haqqanis and last year the outgoing top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, accused the network of acting like the “veritable arm” of Pakistani intelligence.

Pakistani officials have in the past admitted to contact with the Haqqanis as a hedge for influence when US troops leave Afghanistan, but deny supporting their operations and downplay the group’s importance.

The security official denied that Pakistan had refused to launch an offensive against militants in the tribal district of North Waziristan, where the Haqqani leaders have been based.

“What we say is that we will launch an operation in the area with the full support and backing of our government and people, and at the time of our choosing,” he said.

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Reader Comments (46)

  • Nadir
    Sep 7, 2012 - 6:45PM

    Why will blacklisting the Haqqanis impact Pakistan-US relations? Are the Haqqanis not non-state actors? Or is this an admission of links between the Pakistani state and the Haqqanis? Is the entire country now hostage to national pride associated with the Haqqanis?

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  • BRUISED INDIAN
    Sep 7, 2012 - 6:47PM

    Well atleast someone isnt mincing words and saying it straight up. Conjure it up as “you harm our strategic assets and we’ll make the world a living hell”.

    Badmaashi mein bhi saharafat na rahi!

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  • Wolfie loves Kulfie
    Sep 7, 2012 - 6:50PM

    Hahahahahahahha ..” blacklisting Haqqani is not good”..
    yeah what next give Haqqani’s a Nobel prize ?
    get real Pakistani unnamed official,..
    the only good terrorist is a dead one..

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  • Cautious
    Sep 7, 2012 - 6:51PM

    “Any such decision will take the
    relationship back to square one,
    ruining the improvement seen in ties
    between the two countries during the
    last couple of months,”

    Congress understood that when they forced the State Department to make the decision. The reality is that closing the NATO supply line and trying to extort the USA finally got the attention of the American public — it’s an election year and pleasing the American voters takes precedence over offending Pakistan.

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  • Sindhi-Topi
    Sep 7, 2012 - 6:52PM

    Why should blacklisting a terror outfit not be good? Pakistan has already paid enough of a price for walking on both sides of the street.

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  • It's (still) Economy Stupid
    Sep 7, 2012 - 6:55PM

    Haqqani network as terrorists will negatively impact future relations with Pakistan: It speaks volume. Pakistan has to decide if it wants to be a member of the global community in good standing or a pariah state sponsoring terrorism. Are strategic assets that important to loose the soft power and reputation in the world? Whole world is shaking thier head in disbelief. No wonder donors and IMF has a fatique in dealing with this pariah state.

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  • Jihad Bil-Qalam
    Sep 7, 2012 - 7:13PM

    So, now, declaring terrorists as terrorists upsets our govt. Isn’t it quite revealing?Recommend

  • The Truth
    Sep 7, 2012 - 7:23PM

    Why don’t you people call US the biggest terrorist on earth. They are killing scores of humans all across the globe. I imagine how Obama and co can sleep after killing so many humans.. On the other hand Haqqnis are fighting against a force which has brutally occupied a land. Who is the terrorist ?? US or Haqqins????

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  • IceSoul
    Sep 7, 2012 - 7:24PM

    Pakistan has made it abundantly clear that it is allied with terrorists against the US and the rest of the world. The ball is now in America’s court.

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  • Khyber
    Sep 7, 2012 - 7:29PM

    Mr official are you feeling the heat now…?

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  • Chopper
    Sep 7, 2012 - 7:31PM

    Haqqani Network is a major player in Afghanistan and the security official is right that this will have negative impact on our relations with US because Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan but by blacklisting Haqqani Network, US has again hampered attempts at peace.

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  • Fayyaz
    Sep 7, 2012 - 7:38PM

    It means still they wana suck more….what an irony that black-listing Haqqani Group would affect Pak-US relations…Recommend

  • Pakistani Pashtoon
    Sep 7, 2012 - 7:50PM

    these are the same terrorists who killed innocent afghans and pakhtoons between 1996 till 2001 just like talibans r doing nw in pakistan. it seems pakistan intention is not good for afghanistan as their soft corner in their heart is still open for extremists.. we would welcome democractic afghanistan not extremists afghanistan just pakistan dont want talibans. Pakistan should support the afghan people real rather than these extremists it is because of them all schools have been destroyed. grow up pakistan now

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Sep 7, 2012 - 7:51PM

    This is interesting.

    Why don’t Pakistan explain in no uncertain terms, as to why is blacklisting the Haqqani network not good?

    Is it because Haqqanis are sponsored and protected by GHQ?

    What surprises though is the total lack of diplomatic language!!!

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  • butt jee
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:10PM

    @Cautious:
    This is yet another wrong step which will further add to America’s woos in Afghanistan. It seems as if imposing economic sanctions and declaring people terrorist is a pass time hobby of the US government.

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  • A2Z
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:10PM

    Another planted story by ET

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  • observer
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:22PM

    “What we say is that we will launch an operation in the area with the full support and backing of our government and people, and at the time of our choosing,” he said.

    May be on the day of Akhirat.

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  • Sep 7, 2012 - 8:37PM

    The U.S. has been gradually divorcing Pakistan throughout the last 4 years, with good reason. The Army supports terrorism, and terrorists. Yeah, it’s complicated, but principles can eventually dominate even over perceived self-interest.

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  • Zalmai
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:37PM

    @Chopper

    “Haqqani Network is a major player in Afghanistan and the security official is right that this will have negative impact on our relations with US because Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan but by blacklisting Haqqani Network, US has again hampered attempts at peace.”

    On the contrary the Haqqanis are major irritants not players in Afghanistan. People in Afghanistan are tired of these self serving warlords and they have risen up against them in Ghazni, Kunar, Wardak, Kapisa, Faryab and Nuristan and the movement is spreading.

    The people of Afghanistan are demanding security, infrastructure, schools and hospitals and unfortunately these are the very things that the Haqqanis and their ilk deprive them of.

    Pakistan wants peace by promoting terrorists that destroy schools and assassinate local leaders. Pakistan needs to abandon these terrorists if it wants peace in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan can follow the example of India and project soft power by rebuilding Afghanistan through infrastructure and development projects if it wants to wield positive influence in Afghanistan.

    Currently Pakistan is seen as the enemy of Afghanistan, Afghan media portrays Pakistan as public enemy number one. Pakistan needs to work on changing this perception and narrative.

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  • Ali
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:38PM

    @The Truth:
    What did the Taliban do when they entered Mazar e sharif…………..Killed 1000s of Shias…………….US is way better than these nomads………….Recommend

  • Sep 7, 2012 - 8:39PM

    Again the typical way to malign Pakistan…”a senior Pakistani official”?? Well..a “senior American Official” said that americans are very unpleased with operation against TTP. And “a Senior Indian official” said relations with Pakistan would be negatively affected if any action is taken against BLA and Baloch insurgents. Can you doubt the credibility of my news…?

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  • Raw is War
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:39PM

    lol

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  • sabi
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:40PM

    This move is definetly going to hurt this ‘mr anonymous’ and his likes in establishment who have sucked the blood of this poor country.

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  • Nand
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:42PM

    @The Truth: Ask GOP to blacklist USA and blacklist them as terrorists.

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  • AFGHAN
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:44PM

    Finally, the Pakistanis spilled the beans. It gives validation to the claims made in MemoGate by Zardari and Co. that ISI’s S-Section directly supports Haqqani Network.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:49PM

    Majority of Afghans hate Taliban and Haqqani group. Afghans don’t consider them even Afghans. Whenever there is some incident, Afghans blame Pakistan and its puppets. Pakistanis should consider this reality before commenting on these matters.

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  • CoolbreezeAsia
    Sep 7, 2012 - 8:54PM

    I am 100 % sure this unnamed official is non existent or goofy: there will not be any impact on Pakistan – US relations. Only affect may be on US policy of withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014: its seems political decision by USA due to forthcoming elections, may be relaxed once there is any chance of negotiations between Afghan fighting factions and US.

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  • John B
    Sep 7, 2012 - 9:13PM

    Both Afghan and US administrations consider him as a terrorist who has no intention of paericipating in peaceful Afghanistan. PAK has no say in it. Haqqani had his hand in the cookie jar and we all know how it turned out in Afghanistan.

    If PAK considers Haqqani is more important than US relationship, then there is no recourse for PAK.

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  • Raza Khan
    Sep 7, 2012 - 9:14PM

    Very weird statement!

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  • IceSoul
    Sep 7, 2012 - 9:31PM

    @The Truth: More than 30,000 of our countrymen have died in terrorist attacks in the last decade and you are still stuck on USA…

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  • gp65
    Sep 7, 2012 - 9:41PM

    Somehow this unanmed official’s sense of entitlement and petulance reminded me of a rather sillyjoke
    Son writes to father: No Mon, No fun, Your son.
    Dad writes back: oo Bad. So sad. Your Dad.

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  • Richard Clarke
    Sep 7, 2012 - 9:50PM

    They created the Taliban..to give them a base in Afghanistan so that the Indians will not be there

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  • kaalchakra
    Sep 7, 2012 - 9:52PM

    In the real world, away from ET, this is as much a blow against the interests of Pakistan as killing of Osama was. Pakistani government has every reason to be extremely offended, disappointed, and angered. America has played its last card.

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  • G. Din
    Sep 7, 2012 - 11:14PM

    @kaalchakra:
    “America has played its last card.”
    That is what you think. There are many “last cards” in the pipeline!

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  • ashok
    Sep 7, 2012 - 11:38PM

    @kaalchakra:

    USA does not and will not play with only one deck. For example, once Haqqanis is declared and list as Terrorist by the US Congress, then next step is to declare and list those entities and countries who aid, arm, train and shelter those terrorists. This will result in Pakistan being declared and listed as a state sponsoring terrorism and will be treated just like Iran and Syria by USA.

    Next step is wholesale denial and revokation of visas of certain categories for Pakistanis who are already there or planing to visit or study in USA. You read Visa form of USA and make up your mind.

    Next step would be to stop all aid (financial, military and ISI type) to Paksitan.

    Next step would be to direct World Bank and IDB and IMF to stop all aids and close their shops in USA

    Dear ignorant child, do you need USA to show more cards from the first deck?

    USA has many more decks stacked in the front and some stealth like the helicopters that made Osama disappear.

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  • Zalmai
    Sep 8, 2012 - 12:59AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad

    Your comment sums it up in precise terms and it is unfortunate that this reality is lost on most Pakistanis.

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  • Lucknow Nabob
    Sep 8, 2012 - 1:22AM

    US drives another nail in its Get Afghanistan Project coffin …Recommend

  • Shabbir
    Sep 8, 2012 - 4:09AM

    America and its Western allies (UK, Canada, Australia) need to one simple thing. They need to stop all visas and stop all new immigration from Pakistan. Then they should stop all money repatriation to Pakistan.
    Then let Pakistan smell the coffee and come to the table.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 8, 2012 - 8:08AM

    The USA viewpoint of the world is that they are the world leader, and this has been true for some time. Unfortunately, the US is in decline economically, and other countries are moving up. As the balance changes the US appears to be escalating the risks as it desperately tries to maintain its dominance. The US is spending so much on so called defense that it is becoming a pariah state towards its own people as well as others. Further, once you build up a huge military machine, which the US possesses, they feel obliged to use it. Sadly, the US military has not been used wisely. For example US military groups such as CENTCOM are not kindly social organizations, and their basic function is to ensure people fall in line with Washington’s wishes. Once the Haqqani Network is declared a terrorist organization in Washington the US will bulldoze the decision through the Security Council with support from poodle countries such as Britain/France, and then they will, at least in their own minds, be free to advise organizations such as CENTCOM to hunt them down by all means necessary, and this will naturally include greater use of drone aircraft. I do not know very much about the Taliban, Haqqani, or any other semi-military organization. They are not the circles I mix in, nor do I go to dinner in CENTCOM’S officer dining room, but I do know that the Taliban are not loosing. The bottom line is that the US has created a disaster for everybody, including themselves, in the Middle-East/Pakistan/Afghanistan. Instead of escalating the problems perhaps the US should consider allowing what are basically Muslim countries to solve their own problems.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Sep 8, 2012 - 2:04PM

    This means that Haqqanis are more important than the country itself. A country like ours which has around 1,500,000 personnel both active and reserve then why do we need shady characters whom the whole world thinks and considers as terrorists? It is better to concentrate on our own military strength rather than looking for some Sand Bags as was the case with Russia which was previously known as USSR.

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  • TickTock
    Sep 8, 2012 - 2:38PM

    @Lucknow Nabob:
    We will see who’s coffin a nail gets driven into. The United States still has an occupying force in Germany and Japan. They don’t leave and they don’t forget. Pakistan military is slowly becoming more of a liability than an asset.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Sep 8, 2012 - 9:23PM

    A new Pakistan in making and world seems to be ready to pay any cost for it and US is already paying for it for the last 10 years or more .

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  • butt jee
    Sep 8, 2012 - 11:34PM

    @Sindhi-Topi:
    Once declared a terrorist group then under the US law even US Government cannot hold talks with the Haqqanis. Thus with its own action the US has deprived itself of one of the useful options in their war, while the dead line for the withdrawal of troops remains 2014.

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  • butt jee
    Sep 8, 2012 - 11:40PM

    @Jihad Bil-Qalam:
    It does not upset anyone. US has fought the Taliban for 11 years and they are still there. US and Afghan Governments were now desperately wanting to hold talks with Taliban to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. Once declared a terrorist group then under the US law even US Government cannot hold talks with the Haqqanis. Thus with its own action the US has deprived itself of one of the useful options in their war, while the dead line for the withdrawal of troops remains 2014.

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  • Tick Tock
    Sep 9, 2012 - 3:33AM

    @butt jee:

    I find so very interesting how Pakistan thinks keeping its border destabilized with extremism serves its interests. As if there will never be repercussions to planting the seeds of militant nationalism in a country divided along sectarian lines. It’s one thing to wish continued war upon your so called Afghan neighbors for 32 years and running. It’s another to think war empowers you. There is no country on earth that thinks perpetual war empowers it except Pakistan. And the sad reality is, Pakistan is wrong. I would be concerned about Obama’s reaction to Pakistan in his second term. He may just decide Bush had it right by threatening military force.

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  • butt jee
    Sep 9, 2012 - 7:43PM

    @Tick Tock:
    Please read my response to “Sindhi Topi” and Jihad Bil- Qalam. Pakistan does not want to keep its Western borders destabilized. In fact my point of view is that US and NATO has fought against Taliban for almost 11 years but they have not been able to achieve the desired results. Now there is a need to seek peace on the negotiations table. Unfortunately be declaring Haqqanis a terrorist outfit, the option of negotiations will no longer be available to US. Hence the region, particularly our Western border will remain destabilized.

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