No lasting actions taken by Pakistani military against Haqqani network: Gen. Votel

ARMY CHIEF PAKThe commander of the United States Central Command General Joseph L. Votel has said the Pakistani military and security services have not taken lasting actions against the notorious Haqqani terrorist network inside its soil so far.

In his statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Votel said “Pakistan remains a critical partner in the counter-terrorism fight. Twenty U.S-designated terrorist organizations operate in the Afghanistan-Pakistan sub-region; seven of the 20 organizations are in Pakistan.”

Gen. Votel further added “So long as these groups maintain safe haven inside of Pakistan they will threaten long-term stability in Afghanistan. Of particular concern to us is the Haqqani Network (HQN) which poses the greatest threat to coalition forces operating in Afghanistan.”

“To date, the Pakistan military and security services have not taken lasting actions against HQN. We have consistently called upon the Pakistanis to take the necessary actions to deny terrorists safe haven and improve security in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region,” he added.

However, he said “We have seen some promising coordination between the Pakistan and Afghanistan militaries aimed at addressing instability in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. The Pakistan military in particular continues to conduct counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the FATA and facilitate, via ground and air lines of communication, the sustainment of coalition operations in Afghanistan.”

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 US Department of State designated the HQN as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on September 7, 2012. -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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