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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Haqqani Network
The Haqqani Network, a group of Pakistan-based terrorists that has killed coalition troops in Afghanistan, is willing to participate in peace talks with the U.S. as long as the Afghan Taliban's top leader approves, according to a senior commander in the group.
Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed Thursday that a U.S. drone strike last week near the Afghan border killed the son of the founder of the powerful Haqqani militant network, a major blow to one of the most feared groups fighting American troops in Afghanistan.
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN | Afghan officials blamed a brazen series of weekend attacks on the Haqqani Network, saying Monday that fighters captured in the assault claimed they were affiliated with the insurgent faction tied to the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Pakistan's president promised to work with the United States to "eradicate" the militant Haqqani Network, a pledge made during a meeting with visiting American congressmen, according to one of the lawmakers.
U.S. drone-fired missiles killed a ranking member of the Haqqani Network on Thursday in northwestern Pakistan, striking a militant group that Washington claims is the No. 1 threat in Afghanistan and is supported by Pakistani security forces, local intelligence officials said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who for years pushed for reconciliation with the Taliban, now says attempts to negotiate with the insurgent movement are futile and efforts at dialogue should focus instead on neighboring Pakistan.
The United States on Tuesday demanded that Pakistan dismantle a terrorist network blamed for attacking a U.S. embassy as Pakistanis defended efforts to fight militants and demonstrated against the increasing U.S. pressure.
The U.S. has compiled a wide body of intelligence on the locations of militant training camps in Pakistan, but has been unable to persuade Islamabad to shut them down, current and former officials say.
Despite $2 billion in U.S. military aid for an offensive against militants in North Waziristan, Pakistan claims it's too risky to launch an operation against Taliban and al Qaeda operatives in the remote tribal region, after having said for years that a lack of resources had delayed the offensive.
The Afghan government's reconciliation effort with the Taliban is being hamstrung by a lack of participants who wield clout within the militant group and a "peace council" viewed by many Afghans as more eager to maintain the status quo.