Pakistan

Haqqani ban still under consideration: Jalil Abbas Jilani

WASHINGTON: A formal announcement to declare the Haqqani militant network, as an outlawed entity still under consideration, Pakistan envoy to Washington said on Tuesday.

Haqqani network has been responsible for numerous deadly attacks on the U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials said in January that Islamabad had decided to outlaw the militant group and that a formal announcement would come “within weeks”.

“These are the kind of issues that are in the works, I would say,” Jalil Abbas Jilani said at a Washington media roundtable organized by the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, when asked when a formal announcement would be made.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Pakistan in January to fight groups that threaten Afghan, Indian and U.S. interests.

U.S. officials blame the Haqqani network for high-profile attacks within Afghanistan, which mainly operates from Pakistan’s border areas, and claim it has ties to the Pakistani state.

Jilani referred to remarks in November by U.S. Lieutenant General Joseph Anderson, then commander of the international forces in Afghanistan, that Pakistani military action in the North Waziristan region had “very much” disrupted the group’s activities.

Jilani said the operation has succeeded in clearing almost 90 percent of North Waziristan of militants and Pakistan was confident of clearing the remaining area.

Jilani’s comments come after the head of Afghanistan’s power-sharing government last week backed a tentative push to begin peace talks with Taliban insurgents and said the effort would “begin in coming days.” -Reuters

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