‘We controls the Haqqanies’ Taliban- Voice of Jihad
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September 30, 2011
The Taliban says it, not Pakistan, controls the Haqqani network, which U.S. officials blame for numerous attacks on American targets and have linked to Islamabad's intelligence agency.

A statement relased on the Taliban's website (Voice of Jihad) said "all insurgent activity is of "our own initiatives and our own actions." It said there are no ties between the Haqqani network and Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI.

The statement also said attempts to link the Haqqani network's founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani, to the Pakistani government were an attempt to "give a bad name to our prominent figures" by tying them to foreign intelligence services. Last week, the outgoing chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said that the Haqqani group was a "veritable arm" of the Pakistani spy agency, blaming its fighters for a deadly assault on the U.S. embassy in Kabul, as well as an attack on a NATO base in Afghanistan earlier this month. Pakistan has repeatedly rejected the allegations.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the country's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency had to sever all ties with the Haqqani militants.

His comments are the latest sign of a tougher, coordinated public line – echoed by Leon Panetta, US defence secretary, and Cameron Munter, Washington's ambassador to Islamabad in recent days – amid frustration at Pakistan's slow progress in moving on Haqqani bases along the Afghan border.

This year has seen relations between the two allies plunge to their lowest point since 9/11, when US officials reportedly warned Pakistan's intelligence director to prepare to be bombed "back to the Stone Age" if it did not go along with America's campaign against the Taliban.

In a speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Admiral Mullen said he had raised the matter with his Pakistani counterpart, General Ashfaq Kayani, during a meeting at the weekend.

"We covered ... the need for the Haqqani Network to disengage, specifically the need for the ISI to disconnect from Haqqani and from this proxy war that they're fighting," he said.

Jalalludin Haqqani was once a prized asset of the CIA, receiving cash and weapons via the ISI in the 1980s to fight Soviet forces.

After 9/11 however he forged close links with al-Qaeda and began fighting US forces from his bases in Pakistan. Today his son, Sirajuddin, runs operations. They are blamed for a recent bombing attack that wounded 77 US troops at a base in Wardak province.

Such is the frustration that Washington is believed to be considering placing the Haqqani network on its list of proscribed terrorist organisations as it ratchets up pressure.

Haqqani Network

The Haqqani network is one of three main groups in Afghanistan. The other two are the Quetta Shura Taliban, run by a leadership council headed by the confined Mullah Omar, and the other one is Hezb-e-Islami which runs by Gulbudin Hekmatyar, another experienced person during the Soviet war, all these groups have dissimilar command structures and toil under separate strategic plans.

The Haqqani network emerged as a jihadist force under the putative leadership of Jalaluddin Haqqani. He acquired fame as a veteran war hero against the Russians in the 1980’s. Ironically, then, he was revered by the American Intelligence agency for his ‘remarkable skill to execute Russians’. With the tables now turned on the Americans, the network serves as the greatest threat to the American interests in Afghanistan. Later on, his son, Sirajjudin Haqqani succeeded him and expanded the influence of the network by recruiting foreign militants to fight off the American presence in Afghanistan. It is primarily active in Afghanistan’s Southeastern provinces of Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Logar and Ghazni.

In recent years, the Haqqani network has mainly targeted US troops, Afghan government officials and Indian citizens in Afghanistan. The pattern of events suggest that the Haqqani network has operated against foreign domination on Afghan soil. Its ability to impact can be estimated by the targets it has selected to attack and the manner in which the attacks are carried out. The Haqqani network is believed to have been involved in the assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai, whereby he narrowly survived but three others were killed, along with the attack on the Indian embassy killing more than 40 personnel.

Haqqani Network on Terrorist List

A US official said the designation had been avoided until now as it would imply Pakistan was a state-sponsor of terrorism.

"The Haqqanis are not listed as a terrorist organisation at the moment. The reason for that is clear. If you call them a terrorist group then there are implications for Pakistan," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"That status could change but it would be a big decision."

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts writes, “Have you ever before heard of the Haqqanis? I didn’t think so. Like Al Qaeda, about which no one had ever heard prior to 9/11, the “Haqqani Network” has popped up in time of need to justify America’s next war--Pakistan.”

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