News - Afghanistan
Pakistan's intelligence agency should also be branded a terrorist group by the US Congress as it is supporting the Haqqani Network, Afghan military expert Noorulhaq Olomi said Sunday.
Olomi welcomed the addition of the militant Haqqani group to the US "black list", saying it will help to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. However, he said Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, widely seen to support network, should also be added.
"Inclusion of this network into the blacklist will undoubtedly isolate Pakistan and is for the benefit of peace and stability in Afghanistan. But as ISI is continuing to support this group, it should also be included in US blacklist," Olomi told TOLOnews.
The US officially designated the Pakistan-based Haqqani Network, which is accused as being behind some of the most high-profile attacks in Afghanistan including those on the US Embassy in Kabul and the Qargha Lake hotel, a foreign terrorist organisation on Friday after months of debate over what impact it would have.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that it means the US will move against the network wherever it is based in the world, including freezing any assets of the organisation.
Some observers said it may be an attempt to put more pressure on Pakistan to crack down on the network or risk having the US do it themselves. However, Pakistan's Embassy in the US said the matter was an internal affair of America.
Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Janan Mosazai said that Afghanistan sees the move positively.
"Blacklisting the Haqqani Network will decrease their activities in Afghanistan," Mosazai said.
However, the move appears to have angered the Taliban who are being courted by US and Afghan officials to negotiate for peace.
In a statement released Saturday, the Taliban said that there is no difference between the so-called Haqqani Network and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – as the Taliban calls itself.
"The honorable Mullah Jalaluddin Haqqani is a member of the Leadership Council of Islamic Emirate," it said of the Haqqani founder.
"America is trying to create and black list a separate entity in the organized and unified rank of Islamic Emirate while its biased media expound the same narrative," it added.
"The Islamic Emirate does not have any trade agreements with any American companies or individuals and neither does it have monetary funds there which could be frozen."
Meanwhile, Reuters reported a senior Haqqani commander saying that the US designation was counterproductive as it will make life more difficult for US troops in Afghanistan and that it will harm peace negotiations.