The Commander of US Central Command General Lloyd J Austin has said Pakistan should “take decisive action” against the Haqqani terrorist network, calling the network as the greatest threat to the US forces in Afghanistan.
During a congressional hearing with the Senate Armed Service Committee, Gen. Austin said “We need Pakistan to take decisive actions against the Haqqani Network (HQN). The Pakistanis are uniquely positioned to counter the HQN, which remains the greatest threat to our forces and to stability in Afghanistan long-term.”
Gen. Austin further added that the US is encouraged by some signs from Kabul and Islamabad that point towards a renewed effort at improving Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, and Pakistani support for the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
“The Pakistan military continues to play a visible role in efforts to reduce safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, while at the same time actively countering VEOs, including AQ, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and the newly-emerged Islamic State-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said.
The Haqqani terrorist network is accused of staging numerous cross-border attacks from their base in North Waziristan, including the 19-hour siege at the US Embassy in Kabul in September 2011.
Haqqani network was formed in the late 1970s by Jalaluddin Haqqani. The group is allied with al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban and cooperates with other terrorist organizations in the region.
The network is considered the most lethal insurgent group targeting the NATO-led coalition security forces and Afghan personnel in Afghanistan.
The US Department of State designated the HQN as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on September 7, 2012. -KP