Pak Army rebuffs US demand of crackdown on Siraj Haqqani | world | Hindustan Times
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Pak Army rebuffs US demand of crackdown on Siraj Haqqani

world Updated: Dec 15, 2009 15:39 IST

Pakistan military has "rebuffed" an Obama Administration demand to crack down on key Taliban leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, known for giving shelter to top al-Qaeda leaders in his stronghold of North Waziristan, introducing a new unease in relationship with the US.

A letter in this regard was recently delivered by the US Embassy to the Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani. The issue was followed up by General David Petraeus, Commander of the US Central Command in his meeting with Kiyani on Monday, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Kiyani in his response in the form of a two-page letter, the daily said, is believed to have argued that the Pakistan Army's hands are already full and that right now they are concentrating more on home grown terrorists rather than on Afghan Taliban.

Pakistan Army considers Haqqani as an asset than a threat as he is fighting mostly in Afghanistan, whereas for the US he is the most potent force fighting its troops in Afghanistan.

Haqqani, son of Afghan Taliban warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, is also a prominent member of Taliban led by Mullah Omar and has anywhere between 4,000 to 12,000 fighters under his command.

The daily said the rebuff to Obama Administration could be also based on Islamabad's fear that under the new Afghan policy, the US would start withdrawing from July 2011 and leave a power vacuum in Afghanistan.