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Pakistan offer to bring Haqqani to peace talks

world Updated: Aug 19, 2011 02:17 IST

AP
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Pakistan's military says it can bring the notorious Haqqani militant network, considered one of the most lethal Taliban groups, to the negotiating table. The Haqqani network is believed to have been a partner to two terrorist attacks on the Indian embassy in Kabul and is a key threat to US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Instead, Washington is pushing Pakistan to carry out military assaults against Haqqani hideouts in the tribal regions.

The network is affiliated with the Taliban and al Qaeda and blamed for most of the major attacks in Afghanistan. It has been described as the glue that binds together the militant groups operating in Pakistan's tribal North Waziristan.

A senior Pakistani military officer says that Pakistan can deliver the Haqqani network to the negotiation table. Pakistan has kept open communication lines with Jalaluddin Haqqani, the elderly leader of the al Qaeda aligned network. He denied US and Afghan allegations that Islamabad is aiding and arming the network.

But delivering the Haqqanis would guarantee the Pakistanis a major role in negotiations to end the war and shore up their influence in Afghanistan after the Americans have gone.

Pakistan's offer to bring Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin, the network's military chief, to the peace table comes amid accelerated efforts to find a negotiated end to the protracted Afghan war ahead of the 2014 US military pullout.