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Haqqani terrorists threaten U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan
Mr. Haqqani and Osama bin Laden forged a friendship during the fight against the Soviets. When U.S. forces attacked Afghanistan in October 2001, Mr. Haqqani allowed the al Qaeda leader to use his group’s safe havens in Pakistan.
The Haqqanis are ethnic Pashtuns and belong to the Zadran tribe in Paktia province in southeastern Afghanistan. The network is active across much of the region and seeks to regain control over its traditional bases in Khost, Paktia and Paktika provinces.
A senior Afghan official, however, claimed the network has no support among Afghans.
“I don’t think Haqqani has any support among the Zadran in Paktia and Khost provinces,” said Ghulam Farooq Wardak, Afghanistan’s education minister and a member of the peace council charged with leading reconciliation efforts with the Taliban.
“If he has any support that could be from non-Afghan networks of terrorism,” he added.
Mr. Wardak is reluctant to include the Haqqanis in any reconciliation effort.
“Those who are getting resourced, equipped and trained by international terrorists, I don’t think they fall in the category of whom we should talk to and who should be reconciled,” he said.
Sirajuddin grew up in North Waziristan in the company of foreign Islamic jihadists and is viewed as an ideological extremist who has ambitions that extend beyond southeastern Afghanistan.
Jalaluddin Haqqani has been relegated to the role of ideological figurehead.
The Western diplomat said it is unlikely there will ever be a concrete peace in Afghanistan.
“We won’t get a Dayton-style peace agreement in Afghanistan,” he said, referring to the peace accord that ended the war in Bosnia in 1995.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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