Sartaj Aziz says Haqqani Network not a simple issue, could cause a blowback


The Pakistani Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz has said the Haqqani Network was not a simple issue and could have caused a blowback.

Sartaj was speaking a joint sitting of the Senate committees on defence and foreign affairs which mainly focused on the issue of the cancellation of F-16s sale by US to Pakistan.

The US congress refused to to approve funding for the deal days after the US lawmakers had accused Pakistan of not doing enough to fight militant.

The decision by the US congress meant that Pakistan will have to pay more than $700m (£480m) – two-and-a-half times the original cost of the fighter jets.

Pakistan would pay close to $270m, with the US foreign military financing budget paying for the rest, according to the original arrangement.

However, Sartaj said the government was right in not accepting the US conditions. “If the conditions affect national interest, it is better not to accept them. It was an issue of choices,” he contended while deliberating on the reasons that led to the cancellation of the F-16 deal with the US, according to the local Dawn newspaper.

Haqqani network, he said, was not a simple issue and could have caused a blowback.

Sataj further added that the matter was linked to the border management, which the Afghan government had been resisting.

This comes as the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for allowing the anti-government armed militant groups of Afghanistan to use its soil, specifically the Taliban and Haqqani terrorist network which are blamed for deadly attacks in Afghanistan. -KP


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