US welcomes reports of Pakistan's plan to ban Haqqanis

US spokesperson says this is an important step towards eliminating terrorist activity in Pakistan

Reuters January 16, 2015
A file photo of Haqqani Network's founder Jalaluddin Haqqani. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: The United States said on Thursday it welcomed reports that Pakistan was planning to outlaw the Haqqani network and other militant groups linked to violent extremism.

Earlier on Thursday, The Express Tribune quoted senior security officials as saying that a formal announcement of the ban on the Haqqani network and 11 other militant organisations would be made in "coming days."

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The Pakistani government did not respond when asked by Reuters to confirm the report.

In Washington, a spokespersn for the US State Department said the United States welcomed reports of the planned ban.

"This is an important step towards eliminating terrorist activity in Pakistan," Marie Harf told a regular news briefing. She added that she was aware an announcement was planned, but did not know when this would happen.

Harf noted that US Secretary of State John Kerry had just visited Pakistan, where he had "wide-ranging conversations with the Pakistanis about counter terrorism."

"Certainly he emphasised that we are committed to deepening our security partnership with Pakistan," she said.

If the government formally announces a ban on the powerful Haqqani network, which attacks targets in Afghanistan from its bases in Pakistan, it would show it was keen to convince to the United States that it is serious about pursuing the militants. However, it would remain to be seen whether this translated into significant action on the ground.

Pakistan has long been suspected by the West of playing a double game, fighting some militants while supporting others.

However, after a militant attack on a school in Peshawar last month in which 134 children were killed, Pakistan promised to stop differentiating between "good" and "bad" militants and to step up operations against their hideouts on the Afghan border.

Kerry said in Pakistan on Tuesday that Pakistan must fight militant groups like the Haqqani network that threaten Afghan, Indian and US interests.

Pakistan's foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz told Kerry that action would be taken "without discrimination against all groups."


woody | 9 years ago | Reply


US should it self stop playing double game what they did in Egypt toppled a democratic government

Popular anti American blather -- long on blather and short on facts. Morsi got along just fine with the American's -- and the USA restricted military/financial aid to Egypt when Morsi was overthrown. The reality is that the Muslim Brotherhood made economic promises it couldn't deliver and tried to impose strict Sharia law on a population which didn't want it ... the popularity of the current military rule is ample evidence of the Muslim Brotherhood failure.

Tanu | 9 years ago | Reply

Planning to ban! Not banned. This is a trail baloon; they will not ban dawa or Take action against LET.

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