US set to call Pak's bluff by putting Haqqani network on terror blacklist

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New York, July 14 (ANI): In a move that could have determining effect on the 'war on terror' in Afghanistan, the new American military commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus has suggested putting the dreaded Haqqani group in the list of banned terror groups.

According to senior Obama administration officials, General Petraeus introduced the idea of blacklisting the Al-Qaeda affiliate Haqqani group during a meeting with some of the top advisors to President Obama.

Officials said that Petraeus' suggestions are being 'seriously considered'.

The move is likely to upset both Pakistan, which backs the Haqqani network to forge its own agenda in Afghanistan, and also Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is pushing for a reconciliation with all insurgents groups to bring peace and stability in the war torn country.

Despite Karzai's call for reconciliation, American officials are extremely skeptical that the Haqqani network's senior leaders, who have deep connections with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), could ever be reconciled with the Afghan government.

The idea of putting the Haqqani network on a blacklist was first made public by Senator Carl Levin, who recently visited Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Earlier, Levin had stressed that Pakistan must realise that it has to come down hard on the terror groups such as the Haqqani network.

"At the moment, the Haqqani network and their fighters coming over the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan is the greatest threat, at least external threat, to Afghanistan," The New York Times quoted Levin, as saying.

"More needs to be done by Pakistan. The Pakistanis have said they now realize, more than ever, that terrorism is a threat to them not just the terrorists who attack them directly, but the terrorists who attack others from their territory," he added.

The Haqqani movement is led by veteran fighter Jalaluddin Haqqani, a commander in the 1980s Afghan war against the Soviets.

The network, based in the North Waziristan's tribal area along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, is thought to present one of the biggest threats to NATO and US forces in Afghanistan.(ANI)

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