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Pakistan rejects US claim on Haqqani Network


Islamabad: Pakistan’s top security advisor on Monday rejected US assertions that the dreaded Haqqani Network is orchestrating attacks in Afghanistan from Pakistani soil. Sartaj Aziz made the statement a day after US National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Pakistani leaders to stop the Haqqani Network from launching attacks on Afghanistan. The US security advisor met senior Pakistani civilian and military leaders, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, during a day-long visit on Sunday. A member of Rice delegation after meetings spoke with a group of senior journalists in Islamabad that Rice told Pakistani leaders that the US shares Kabul’s “concerns” and “anguish” about the increase in attacks that the Haqqani Network has recently carried out in Afghanistan. Aziz disputed the US claim about Haqqani Network when he spoke at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Islamabad.


“The infrastructure of the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan tribal region, which included IED (Improvised Explosive Device) factories and a number of other capacities including communication has been disrupted, so what was left here may be very limited compared to the capacity they still have in Afghanistan,” Aziz said. “So, the assessment of if they (Haqqani Network) were involved in any activity how much it came from here and what happened from Afghanistan is very difficult to verify,” the Pakistani advisor insisted when he was asked about the reported remarks of his American counterpart.

He said there may be still an assumption in Afghanistan that the Haqqani Network still have ability to control or direct things from Pakistani soil. But “our assessment is that their capacity in Afghanistan is much, much bigger, probably 80-90 percent compared to what is here and what is here is also being cleaned out as a part of our operations. So, I think it is a question of verifying the ground situation but on the objectives there is no difference of opinion right now and I hope in due course this will be resolved. “Aziz said there was widespread appreciation for the decisive action Pakistani forces have taken against terrorism and extremism, adding that the question of the Haqqani Network is a more limited issue and it depends on the assessment of the ground situation. The German foreign minister appreciated Pakistan’s achievements in fight against terrorism and said the world recognizes its sacrifices in war against terrorism.


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US Shares List of 20 Terrorist Groups Operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan with Pakistani Authorities

Top on the list is the Haqqani Network which, the US claims, has safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and uses them to launch attacks into Afghanistan.

According to media reports, US has shared list of terror groups operating in Pakistan with authorities in Islamabad. Wikimedia

Washington, November 2, 2017 : The White House retains a list of 20 terrorist groups that it claims are operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan and is believed to have shared this list with Islamabad, the media reported on Thursday.

However, the list was not given to Pakistani authorities by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he visited Islamabad last week, diplomatic sources told Dawn news.

The White House list includes three types of militant groups: those who launch attacks into Afghanistan, those who attack targets inside Pakistan and those who are focused on Kashmir.

Top on the list is the Haqqani Network which, the US claims, has safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and uses them to launch attacks into Afghanistan.

Pakistan strongly rejects the charge, saying that there were no such safe havens inside the country.

The US also identified Lashkar-e-Taiba as one of the largest and most active terrorist organisations in South Asia.

The other militant groups in the list include Harakatul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jundullah, Lashkar-i-Jhanghvi and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. (IANS)