|The Unites States and NATO commanders perceive Haqqani insurgent group as the most dangerous, organized and trenchant as compared to others Taliban factions. This insurgent faction is alleged to have their links with the ISI and Pakistan army. It may be instructive to know that Haqqani group was in the lead of the American proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. But when United States turned against Taliban, they joined the latter to liberate Afghanistan from the NATO branding it as the occupation force. Instead of resorting to a knee jerk reaction and punitive retaliation through military means, the United States could cultivate the Haqqani group for liaison, rapport and link with the anti-American Taliban. This has all the more become a pressing need for America after the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani on 20 September 2011, by Taliban.
Burhanuddin was trying to bring about a kind of rapprochement between the Taliban and the United States to pave way for a face saving exit of NATO and United States from Afghanistan. United State should realize that there is a limit for Pakistan to oblige United States and endure pressure from the NATO commanders to keep fighting for the sake of occupation alliance. If Pakistan cannot expand her anti Taliban war to North Waziristan and the United States in concert with NATO embarks upon the solo fight, then the exit of United States from Afghanistan would be stalled indefinitely. It is not the Haqqani group that was responsible for 9/11 attacks on American soil but Al-Qaida that has been considerably mauled by the United States in the aftermath of that horrendous happening. Haqqani group can be won over and used for forging a link with Taliban and thus end their hostilities against the occupation forces.
It is high time for the United States to use carrot than stick and try to woo the rival factions of Taliban to get out of the quagmire of Afghanistan well in time. To use Pakistan as a scapegoat for the military failures of NATO and American troops is a fallacious approach and cannot be rewarding in the longer run. Pakistan as a mercenary or ally of the United States against terrorism has already rendered supreme sacrifices by way of its shattered economy, the high death toll of its soldiers and the massive disruption of peace within.
To put more burden on her and harping the tune to "do more" would be counterproductive. Such a pressure tactic would be tantamount to force Pakistan to continue fighting against her own people and making them eternal enemy that might result in the break up of Pakistan. Pakistan cannot and must not expand the war theatre beyond South Waziristan. Rather Pakistan should also withdraw from South Waziristan as a gesture of goodwill and reconciliation towards Taliban and to signal that it was time for cessation of hostilities. This policy of pacifism would also benefit the United States because a friendly, cohesive and untied Afghanistan under national government would also be friendly towards the United States. Why should Taliban be perpetually punished for a crime that was committed by Al-Qaida? United States in return can win the people of Afghanistan through aid and by joining reconstruction efforts of that massively ravaged country like it did in Germany in the post World War II era.
[Description of Source: Islamabad Pakistan Observer Online in English -- Website of the pro-military daily with readership of 5,000. Anti-India, supportive of Saudi policies, strong supporter of Pakistan's nuclear and missile program. Chief Editor Zahid Malik is the author of books on nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan; URL: http://www.pakobserver.net]
Pakistani Daily Urges US To Hold Peace Talks in Afghanistan for Troop Withdrawal
SAP20110925100003 Peshawar Wahdat in Pashto 20 Sep 11 p 3
[Editorial: Haqqani Network Is Not Al-Qa'ida Faction; But Mullah Omars Group Is]
US intelligence and the Western media, working in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq have repeatedly been saying that the Jalaluddin Haqqani network is an offshoot of the Al-Qa'ida and its ties and activities are also linked with the latter. The Western media has also claimed that the Al-Qa'ida is weakening in Afghanistan and Pakistan and only the Al-Qa'ida-linked Haqqani Network is carrying out deadly attacks in Afghanistan. A number of US generals have also blamed the Haqqani Network for carrying out all previous and recent attacks. Haqqani Network Chief Sirajuddin Haqqani, in his report sent to the Western media on 19 September, has clearly stated that they have no links with the Al-Qa'ida. He said: "We are a part of the Taliban, and Mullah Omar is our leader. Our group comprises of those Taliban men who are being led by Mullah Muhammad Omar. Whatever talks take place between Mullah Omar and the Afghan Government for peace and reconciliation, he will remain our leader."
Reacting to the statement issued by Sirajuddin Haqqani, several politicians have also said that the Haqqani Network is confident about US withdrawal from Afghanistan and thus it is carrying out severe attacks in Afghanistan on government buildings and bases where US troops are deployed.
Meanwhile, politicians from Central Asia, who are close to Afghanistan, have also said when the then Soviet Union suffered huge material and human losses in Afghanistan, its generals disclosed reports on great losses inflicted by the Jalaluddin Haqqani Network in Khost. At present, the US security forces are also facing huge losses inflicted by Jalaluddin Haqqani's network and therefore they want to globally declare that the Haqqani Network is similar to the Al-Qa'ida. By this way, the United States wants to divert the attention of its ally, the NATO countries, toward the Haqqani Network and make them step up operations against the group. Meanwhile, the Taliban leaders, who have been excluded from the UN list of Taliban fighters, do not include a single leader of the Haqqani group. The United States, which has been engaged in the Afghan war for 10 years, says that it has prolonged its war due to increase in strength of its opponents. The United States has declared the Taliban as more dangerous than the Al-Qa'ida for the world. It has also linked the Taliban with the Al-Qa'ida in the 9/11 incident. Now the Haqqani Network, which calls itself a part of the Mullah Omar-led Taliban, is being declared by the United States as a group linked to the Al-Qa'ida to justify its stay in Afghanistan. If the United States wants an end to the war in Afghanistan and wants its troops to leave the region by 2014, then it needs to work for reconciliation and end the war in Afghanistan. Even if the Haqqani Network has links with the Al-Qa'ida, the United States should have talked about Mullah Omar's Taliban movement and should have stated that it wants peace with all the Mullah Omar-led Taliban factions. Several analysts on Afghanistan's political affairs say that even if the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan agree to hold peace talks, the US Government will never allow peace and reconciliation to exist between the Afghan Government and the Taliban leaders, because if the fight between the two comes to an end, there would remain no justification for the United States to have strategic agreement or have permanent bases in Afghanistan.
Now after the declaration of Sirajuddin Haqqani that his group has no links with the Al-Qa'ida, but is associated only with the Mullah Omar-led Taliban movement, the US and Afghan Government should work for continuation of talks with all Taliban factions. They have to work toward establishing such a system in Afghanistan where all Afghans, belonging to any group, should be a part of the governmental process. Such a system and a government should be formed that have the support of all Afghans. Other than this, there is no other option for the Afghan Government and the United States.
[Description of Source: Peshawar Wahdat ("unity") in Pashto -- daily newspaper providing balanced coverage to anti-Taliban as well as pro-Taliban opinion. Provides extensive coverage of the political and security situation in Afghanistan and in areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.]
Taliban Alleges US Holding Pakistan Responsible for Failure in Afghanistan
SAP20110927093001 Karachi Geo News TV in Urdu 0600 GMT 27 Sep 11
[Words in double slantlines in English]
The Afghan Taliban have said in a statement that the United States is holding Pakistan responsible for its failure. The United States is also trying to create rifts in Taliban ranks. The Taliban said that their leadership and centers are present inside Afghanistan and the Americans are well aware of all this. The Afghan Taliban claim there was no groups in the militia.
The latest statement of Taliban in Afghanistan says that the United States is covering its failure in Afghanistan by holding Pakistan responsible for the mess in the country. [The statement said] Efforts are being made to create rifts in Taliban. According to the Afghan Taliban, there are no groups in Taliban and their leadership and centers are present in Afghanistan and the United States is well aware of this fact.
To discuss this latest statement further, we have with us on the telephone line host of (Geo News TV) program Jirga and expert of Afghan affairs Salim Safi.
[Begin live rely] [Anchor Ayesha Bakhsh] Salim, how important this Taliban statement is and how much credible it can be stated?
[Safi] This statement is perfectly credible. On the one hand they [Taliban] sent it via e-mail. And on the other the statement has been pasted on a website used by Taliban for such statements. And Qari Yousuf, who is spokesman of the Afghan Taliban, has issued this statement. And this statement is available both in Pashto and English. And one of my credible sources of the Afghan Taliban, which confirm or rejects such statements for us, has confirmed this statement and his e-mail sent on my ID is available with me.
Another fact is that the statement has no great //surprise// for those who knew the Afghan Taliban closely as people like us have been saying this since this issue became hot that the Haqqani Network is not a separate group rather it is part and parcel of the Afghan Taliban. Now, the Afghan Taliban have clarified this fact in this statement that as they have intensified attacks and the Americans are facing defeat, so that are trying to use different terms like Haqqani Network for face saving.
[Bakhsh] Salim, sorry for the interruption, but as you stated that you have also received this statement and the e-mail is available with you, do you think the statement clarifies that the Taliban and the Haqqani Network are the same.
[Safi] Definitely, it also clarifies that and the statement is in accordance with the previous structure of Taliban. The basic facts in the statement show on the one hand that the United States wanted to downplay the power of the Islamic Emirate and attribute its attacks to others. The other fact is that particularly David Petraeus -- in order to cover his failure and give his good impression to the American people -- is giving this fake impression that what is going on [in Afghanistan] is interference from Pakistan. It has been claimed in this [statement] that all installations of the Afghan Taliban are inside Afghanistan and their leaders are also in Afghanistan.
Besides, the statement says that Jalaluddin Haqqani is a respectable leader of the Taliban and is member of the Supreme Council of the Afghan Taliban. He is not a separate entity from the Afghan Taliban as the Americans are giving the impression that Haqqani Network is perhaps, rather to put it in their [Taliban] own words -- the United States wants to give this impression to the common people through false propaganda that the great jihadist personality and member of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Emirate al-Haj Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani is a separate force having links with others. Thus the statement says that he [Haqqani] is part and parcel of the Afghan Taliban and is also a member of the Supreme Council of the Afghan Taliban. This negate the [words indistinct] of the Americans clarifying it that the Haqqani Network is not a separate entity, but is part of the Afghan Taliban. Secondly, it has rejected the allegation that Afghan Taliban are either carrying out their actions from P akistan or [words indistinct]. It is written in the statement that the Americans are well aware that Afghan Taliban are inside Afghanistan and they are carrying out their activities from Afghanistan.
[Bakhsh] Salim, as you stated in details that the situation is where the Afghan Taliban are present and how their infrastructure is working, Haqqani Network is part of Taliban, and the United States is well aware of their presence. Earlier, you saw their statements and reaction to it, now what will be the impact of this statement particularly in wake of the pressure in the Pakistan-US relation and concern in the environment. How important this statement is and what will be its impact?
[Safi] In fact this supports Pakistan's stance and secondly, it negates the US allegations by saying that they i.e. Afghan Taliban have control over more than half of Afghanistan. This has been claimed in this statement again and for people like us there is no //surprise// in this statement as I have with me a report drafted by the Afghan Interior Ministry indicating through a map where the Taliban have influence and where the Afghan Government have influence. The areas under the control of the Afghan Government or NATO are shown in green while the areas under the control of the Taliban are shown in red color. Thus if you look at the map and I have already shown that map in my program [Jirga] most of the southern and eastern Afghanistan is shown by the Afghan Interior Ministry in red color and on the other hand in the far north the Kunduz province has been shown in red color in the map.
[Bakhsh] Well, many thanks Salim Safi, senior analyst ant host of program Jirga, for giving details about this important statement. [end live relay]
[Description of Source: Karachi Geo News TV in Urdu -- 24-hour satellite news TV channel owned by Pakistan's Jang publishing group, broadcast from Dubayy. Known for providing quick and detailed reports of events. Programs include some Indian shows and dramas which the group claims are aimed at promoting people-to-people contact and friendly relations with India.]
AFP: Pakistani Tribesmen Threaten Jihad Over US Call for North Waziristan Action
SAP20110927012002 Hong Kong AFP in English 1127 GMT 27 Sep 11
[AFP Report: "Pakistani Tribesmen Threaten US With Holy War"]
JAMrud, Pakistan, Sept 27, 2011 (AFP) - Hundreds of Pakistani tribesmen on Tuesday threatened the United States with holy war should it take action against Haqqani extremists in North Waziristan on the Afghan border.
In a protest organised by Pakistan's largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, local tribesmen party activists, some armed with Kalashnikovs, gathered in the town of Jamrud in the Khyber tribal district along the Afghan border.
The protestors then set off in convoy to Landikotal, a town on the border, where party leaders were to deliver final addresses.
The crowd of hundreds chanted slogans such as "Death to America", Allah Akhbar (God is great) and al-Jihad (holy war), said an AFP reporter.
There is growing unease in Pakistan about US pressure to take action against the Haqqani militant network or the face the consequences.
The group was founded by former CIA asset turned Al-Qaeda ally Jalaluddin Haqqani and its leaders are based in North Waziristan.
In a series of escalating rows, Washington accused the Haqqanis, with involvement of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, over September attacks on its embassy in Kabul and a NATO base in central Afghanistan.
Pakistan has said it will not bow to mounting US demands for action and denies any support for the network's attacks.
Although nothing suggests the United States is considering a ground incursion, Pakistanis fear action from American ground troops.
"America has already failed in Afghanistan. Do they need another graveyard in the Pakistani tribal areas?" Qazi Hussain Ahmed, a prominent JI leader, told the gathering, calling on the government to end its US alliance.
"The Pakistani tribal areas would prove a bigger graveyard of Americans if they ever attack these areas," he added.
The alliance between Pakistan and the United States in the 10-year war in Afghanistan and against Al-Qaeda hit rock bottom this year in the wake of the unilateral American raid that killed Osama bin Laden near Islamabad on May 2.
Pakistan has around 140,000 troops based along its northwest that borders Afghanistan and says more than 3,000 soldiers have been killed since 2001 -- more than the 2,735 Western soldiers who have died in Afghanistan.
[Description of Source: Hong Kong AFP in English -- Hong Kong service of the independent French press agency Agence France-Presse]
Afghan Taliban Say US Trying to Blame Pakistan, Haqqani Network For Its Failures
SAP20110928118009 Islamabad The News Online in English 28 Sep 11
[Report by staff correspondent: "Taliban say Haqqani is one of them"]
[Text disseminated as received without OSC editorial intervention]
PESHAWAR: The Afghan Taliban on Tuesday declared that the US was facing defeat in Afghanistan and was trying to find a scapegoat by blaming Pakistan and the Haqqani network for its failures.
The statement sent by email on behalf of the Taliban-led Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan alleged that the US was stung by the daring Taliban attacks in Kabul recently and was now looking for ways and means to create divisions in their ranks.
According to the statement, the Taliban operations under their spring offensive, Badr, had convinced Nato military commanders that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won and that foreign forces must leave. It alleged that the US was wrongly reassuring its allies that the situation was under control and that it would be overcome by putting pressure on Pakistan to give up its support to the Haqqani network.
It maintained that Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani was part of the Taliban movement and was one of its dignified and honourable personalities. It insisted that Haqqani isn't leading a separate group. It added that Haqqani still took his orders from the Taliban Shura.
The press release also referred to the ongoing tension in Pakistan-US relations and gave the following piece of advice: "Our advice to the people of Pakistan and its government is that they should deliberate on America's two-faced and implacable politics. It should always give precedence to its Islamic and national interests and they should have a firm belief that America will never be happy with them until they loot all their material and moral assets."
[Description of Source: Islamabad The News Online in English -- Website of a widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Usually offers leading news and analysis on issues related to war against terrorism. Circulation estimated at 55,000; URL: http://www.thenews.com.pk/]
French Commentary Examines US Tension with Pakistan over Haqqani Network
EUP20110928029008 Paris Marianne 2 in French 20 Sep 11
[Commentary by Regis Soubrouillard: "Washinton Tells Pakistan To Keep its Taliban Networks to Itself|"]
Following the series of attacks on the US Embassy and NATO headquarters in the Afghan capital, Cameron Munter said on Radio Pakistan that he has proof of links between the Haqqani Taliban network, presumed to be behind the attacks, and the Pakistani Government. Those remarks by the US ambassador in Pakistan constituted a bombshell.
For months, the two of them have been looking for a fight. After US crack troops assassinated Bin Laden on Pakistani territory in May, they stopped talking to one another.
Pakistan accused the United States of having violated its sovereignty. For its part, Washington explained that it feared that Al-Qa'ida would be alerted to US plans if the Pakistani authorities had been notified of the raid in advance. This was a way of asserting Pakistan's duplicity, and particularly that of its intelligent services.
"Who was responsible for the birth of Al-Qa'ida" in the 1990s? This was the Pakistani prime minister's reply, in a barely veiled reference to the United States.
Islamabad therefore decided to rid itself of dozens of US military instructors and the United States announced a one-third reduction of its aid to Pakistan, amounting to $2.7 billion, to maintain security.
During the past week tension has increased further with the attacks perpetrated in Kabul 13 September on the US Embassy, the NATO forces' headquarters, and several other diplomatic missions. Speaking on a Pakistani radio station, US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter immediately abandoned cautious "diplomatic language," directly citing the Haqqani Taliban network and adding that he has proof of "the existence of links between the Haqqani network and the Pakistani Government. This must stop. We must ensure that we're working together to combat terrorism." Such remarks are unusual from a diplomat.
According to Alain Chouet, former director of the DGSE's [General Directorate of External Security] security services and author of "At the Heart of the Special Services," "since the beginning of the 1980s the Pakistani intelligence and government have claimed to control the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. In my opinion, it is, rather, the Taliban that control the government, but that's another matter. However, there are very strong links between the ISI (Pakistan's secret services) and the Taliban, for reasons relating to Pakistani domestic politics and control of the Afghan map. Because for Pakistan to control Afghanistan, to profit from its control of Afghanistan, is a strong argument to put to the West, and it is important from the viewpoint of their foreign policy. So since his embassy was attacked the US ambassador actually said out loud that which everyone was whispering."
Haqqani, the United States' new nightmare
The Haqqani network, based in North Waziristan and comprising 10,000-15,000 Taliban, according to the Combating Terrorism Center, is regarded by the US military as "one of the most resistant insurgent groups." It started it struggle against the pro-US government in Kabul and NATO following the collapse of the Taliban regime at the end of 2001. Haqqani is suspected of having organized some of the deadliest attacks on US forces in Afghanistan in recent years.
The Haqqani network takes its name from Jalaluddin Haqqani, the charismatic mojahedin leader of the struggle against the Soviet invasion in the 1980s, who subsequently rallied to the Taliban regime.
Based in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, less famous than Al-Qa'ida and often wrongly portrayed as close to the latter, the Haqqani network creates serious difficulties for US troops: "they're Taliban, but they have little in common with Al-Qa'ida, assuming that there's anything left of the latter. Haqqani is not an internationalist network but is one of the major Pashtun extremist networks," Alain Chouet explained. "Their objectives are located in Afghanistan for reasons of power in Afghanistan, vis-a-vis the present government established by NATO and between different branches of the Taliban. Afghanistan remains very divided because of all the tribal and clan chiefs, and with the announced troop departure, everyone will want to define their own territory and prepare for the time when it will be necessary to reestablish Afghanistan's political forces. Everyone is trying to demonstrate their ability to control, to cause damage, to carry out actions, and so forth. The Taliban are well aware that Uncle Sam has run out of money, and they will all want to show who is chief of chiefs."