Terrorism

US House OKs bill against Haqqani group

PG
Wednesday, 18-July-2012

 

WASHINGTON: The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the State Department to designate the Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist group, pressing the Obama administration to get tougher on an issue that already has strained ties with Islamabad.
 
On a voice vote, lawmakers approved a bill that referred to the Haqqani network as "the most dangerous of Afghan insurgent groups battling U.S.-led forces in eastern Afghanistan."
 
U.S. officials have accused the Haqqanis of high-profile strikes including an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in September and an earlier truck bombing that wounded dozens of U.S. troops.
 
Despite those accusations, the militant group is not on the State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organizations list. Inclusion in the list would bring sanctions such as criminal penalties for anyone providing material support to the group and seizure of any assets in the United States.
 
The reason the network has not been placed on the list, some U.S. officials say, is that some State Department officials had hoped the Haqqanis could be brought off the battlefield as part of Afghan peace talks between the government and insurgents.
 
State Department officials say they have also slapped individual sanctions on many of the most important Haqqani leaders, and that this has already put pressure on the group.
 
Washington wants Islamabad to bring the Haqqani network into talks, but has been wary of exerting too much pressure on Pakistan over the matter and further stressing ties. One headache in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship was removed earlier this month when Pakistan reopened land routes to resupply U.S. troops in Afghanistan.The bill passed by the House on Tuesday would require a report from the State Department on whether the Haqqani network meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist group -- and if not, why not.
 
That legislative language has already passed the Senate. But the House added a couple of sentences saying that lawmakers believe the network does meet the criteria, and urging the secretary of state to put the Haqqani network on the foreign terrorist list.
 
It was unclear when the amended bill would be brought up in the Senate, but it has support from some key lawmakers, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin.
 
"Haqqani has killed so many of our people. And it's all in terrorist attacks," said Feinstein, a Democrat. She has been writing to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for more than two years to urge the network be placed on the terrorist list.
 
"The argument has been that if we want to negotiate with them, we can't designate them a terrorist network. I disagree with that. I think if somebody is going to negotiate with you, they negotiate with you because they think they're losing," Feinstein said.
 
The Haqqani network, based in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area, is named after aging leader Jalaluddin Haqqani. He was among the mujahideen leaders that fought Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and his group received CIA backing then. (Reuters)



    

Top Stories

Black Cap Williamson banned from bowling

WELLINGTON: New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson has been banned from bowling his occasional off-spin in international cr...

Punjab govt. seeks four-month time for LB polls

ISLAMABAD: Punjab government has sought four-month time from Supreme Court (SC) for holding local bodies election in the...

Car bombings kill at least 33 people in Iraq

BAGHDAD: A new wave of car bombs ripped through commercial areas in the Iraqi capital and areas to the south Tuesday, ki...

Altaf, Zardari discuss law & order in Sindh

KARACHI: Muttahidat Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain and former president and co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Pa...

White House weighs petition to deport Justin Bieber

WASHINGTON: As if Barack Obama didn't have enough problems to deal with already, his administration now is being asked t...

Sindh CNG stations reopen after 24 hours

KARACHI: CNG stations across Sindh including Karachi reopened after 24-hour closure at 8:00 AM today (Tuesday), media re...

Gas leakage blast kills 1, hurts 3 in Quetta

QUETTA: An explosion occurred at a house due to gas leakage, killing at least one person and wounding three others here ...

Ministry of CAD decisions put students,teachers & parents in a fix

Islamabad:Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) indecisive attitude put the students as well as paren...

10-year-old maid allegedly tortured to death in Lahore

LAHORE: A 10-year-old girl, who works as maid, was allegedly tortured to death in Lahore, medi reported.Sources said tha...

Five friends voluntarily embrace death: police

THATTA: Police after initial investigation claimed that five friends, who were allegedly killed in Noori Jam Tamachi, vo...

Pakistan wants good relations with all neighbouring countries: PM Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan wanted good relations with all the neighbouring countries....

IHC dismisses Musharaf’s pleas; verdict issued

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued 11-page detailed verdict over the intra-court appeal filed by f...

Pakistan to get $550m after IMF review meeting on Dec. 19

WASHINGTON: International Monetary Fund (IMF) first quarter review meeting on Pakistan’s loan programme will be held on...

Kayani thanks Corps Commanders for extending support

RAWALPINDI: The 166th Corps Commanders Conference was held at General Headquarters on Thursday.   Outgoing Chief of Ar...

3 women held captive for 30 years: UK police

LONDON: Three women have been freed after spending 30 years held captive in a south London home, including one woman be...

Iran has slowed work on atomic facilities: IAEA

NEW YORK: Iran appears to have dramatically slowed work on its atomic energy program since the summer, U.N. officials s...

Young Frenchman too heavy to fly will go home by ship

NEW YORK CITY: A young Frenchman who weighs 230 kilograms (500 pounds) and was deemed too heavy to fly on a jetliner ar...

Ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf released

ISLAMABAD: Adiala Jail authorities have formally released the country’s former military strongman General (retd) Pervez...

Bolivia coca ambush leaves 4 security force members dead

LA PAZ: A weekend ambush and hostage-taking involving police and Bolivian coca growers has left four people dead, offic...

Muslim pilgrims ritually stone devil as hajj nears end

MINA: Throngs of Muslim pilgrims took part in devil-stoning ritual for a second day Wednesday in Saudi Arabia's Mina Va...


Feature / Analysis

  • The Reason Why Israel Killed so Many Pregnant Women in Gaza

    After five weeks of Israeli bombing and invasion the United Nations re...

    Read More »

  • While Israel Kill Gaza's Children, Media Shield The Truth About Hamas

    As the people of Gaza find momentary respite to impact of Israel's bru...

    Read More »

  • The cave dwellers of Bamiyan

    The sandstone cliffs of Afghanistan's Bamiyan province are most famous...

    Read More »

  • Why America's war in Afghanistan is no victory

    Afghanistan is the only country in the world where American soldiers a...

    Read More »


Opinion

  • How Can We Destroy Love?

    Love is a serious problem in our world. There is too much of it. So I ...

    Read More »

  • The Anniversary of Rabaa and Sisi's Genocide

    General Sisi’s military coup claimed that it was put in effect to answ...

    Read More »

  • National Unity Committee Update

    The National Unity Committee, a joint commission appointed by both pre...

    Read More »

  • In Afghan election dispute, enter the DC lobbyists

    Afghanistan presidential hopeful Ashraf Ghani is spending nearly $150,...

    Read More »