US to Pak: Redouble efforts against Haqqanis

Washington: Top American lawmakers have asked Pakistan to redouble its efforts against the dreaded Haqqani Network, a day after it was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US State Department.

“This is a terrorist organisation and an enemy of the United States, and I urge Pakistan to redouble its efforts working with US and Afghan partners to eliminate the Haqqani threat,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In July 2012 Feinstein had introduced a legislation in the Senate instructing the Secretary of State to designate the Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist group and in May 2012 wrote Secretary Hillary Clinton a letter urging for the same.

“This action will make it harder for the Haqqani network to raise funds and operate its businesses, and will create new risks for anyone working with it. Over the past two years I have heard from leaders in the intelligence community and military in Washington and in Kabul that designation is the right thing to do,” Feinstein said.

The Pentagon, which has described Haqqani network as a significant threat to the US national security, welcomed the decision to designate it as global terrorist organisation.

“These new group designations will build on our efforts to degrade the network’s capacity to carry out attacks, including affecting fundraising abilities, targeting them with our military and intelligence resources, and pressing Pakistan to take action,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said he is pleased that Clinton has finally announced to officially designate the Haqqani network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“This is a critical step that clears the path for the United States to begin to put a choke hold on the networks finances,” Rogers said.