Pak's attempted deal between US, Afghan Taliban fraught with risk over Haqqani's role

Written by: Mamatha
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Lahore, Sep 27(ANI): Pakistan is reportedly trying to solicit a deal between the United States (US) and the Afghan Taliban with the help of certain friendly Arab nations, a move experts believe could backfire if the dreaded Haqqani group that has consistently targeted US forces, doesn't play ball.

The deal would not include Al-Qaeda and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

According to the Daily Times, plans are in place for an operation in North Waziristan, but Pakistan Army Chief Ashfaq Kayani has indicated that he will decide when to go ahead, if at all.

"With Saudi and UAE envoys coming in, Hamid Karzai dealing with the Pakistani establishment to strike deals with the Taliban, the Haqqanis might also join the coalition and there could eventually be a happy ending," a top Pakistani intelligence official said.

Though Pakistan considers the Haqqani network a "strategic asset", Western diplomats and military commanders have voiced concern over the network's close link with Al-Qaeda.

"Our biggest concern is where Sirajuddin and Jalaluddin Haqqani will be post-US withdrawal as they are close to Al-Qaeda," the diplomat said.The Haqqanis fully supported, coordinated and facilitated attacks by Al-Qaeda, such as the ones in Kabul and on the Bagram air base this year," a Western military commander stationed in Afghanistan added.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that concerned with the negotiations and dealings, Al-Qaeda has cemented alliances with the TTP, and has given refuge to most of the Mehsuds in North Waziristan.

Security officials also feel that Al-Qaeda and the TTP might organise a 26/11 Mumbai-style attack to try and destabilise the talks. (ANI)

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