Pak needs to do much more against Haqqani network for Afghan peace: Holbrooke

July 24th, 2010 - 1:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Richard Holbrooke London, July 24(ANI): US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, has said that while Islamabad is cooperating with the US-backed Afghan peace efforts, it was not to the extent sought by Washington.

Holbrooke did highlight several areas of progress, including a greater Pakistani military push against militants on its soil, but the Al-Qaida-allied Haqqani network remained a “real problem”.

“Without Pakistan’s participation, this (Afghan) war could go on indefinitely. There’s much more cooperation at every level, but I don’t want to mislead you… it (cooperation) is not yet where we hope it will be,” The Daily Times quoted Holbrooke, as saying.

“Everyone talks about North Waziristan, but what we talk about is the Haqqani network. Let’s be very specific… It’s a real problem,” he added.

The Haqqani network, led by Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son, Sirajuddin, is one of the three main factions of the Afghan Taliban, which operates on both sides of Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

The group is blamed for several daring attacks on coalition and Afghan forces, and is allied with both Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda.

Earlier, US Armed Services Committee Chairman, Carl Levin, had urged Pakistan to crack down on the network.

Levin believes that Pakistan’s reluctance to push into the North Waziristan area run by the Haqqanis is hurting the war efforts in Afghanistan.

“At the moment, the Haqqani network and their fighters coming over the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan is the greatest threat, at least external threat, to Afghanistan,” Levin had said. “More needs to be done by Pakistan. The Pakistanis have said they now realize, more than ever, that terrorism is a threat to them not just the terrorists who attack them directly, but the terrorists who attack others from their territory,” he added. (ANI)

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