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UN’s new target is Haqqani network

world Updated: Apr 16, 2012 18:26 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya

While the United Nations committee overseeing sanctions against individuals and entities linked to the Al Qaeda and Taliban has received attention recently for delisting a number of Taliban leaders, it has also added a dozen more to the blacklist this year with a focus on groups like the Haqqani Network and the Al Qaeda in Yemen.

Formally known as the 1267 Committee, those who are on the list are subject to travel restrictions, having their assets frozen and other action.

In recent months, with the Hamid Karzai government seeking greater reconciliation with the Taliban, figures from the previous regime have been delisted.

But the focus on the Haqqani Network is new as it emerges as a serious threat to the Afghan government.

The Network is considered to be supported by Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. In recent months there were attempts by Pakistan to have leaders of the Network as part of the reconciliation process. However, soon after that, the Haqqanis faced a crackdown, with even the US State Department imposing sanctions on key figures.

Major figures within the Network, such Jalaluddin and Sirajuddin Haqqani, already figured on the UN sanctions list.

But this new trend indicates that the committee is increasingly focusing on groups that have emerged as major international threats in recent months.

But the Haqqani Network isn’t itself part of the entities list.

One interesting missing element in the list is that of the Tehrik-e-Taliban or the Pakistan Taliban. There has been no petition from the Pakistan government for inclusion of that terrorist outfit. The Tehreek provided training to Faisal Shahzad who attempted the abortive bombing in New York’s Times Square this year.

Richard Barrett, Coordinator of the UN’s Al Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team, said the Pakistan Taliban had not been included “yet” but that the list was a “work in progress.”

The list, that came into being in the aftermath of 9/11, focuses on those who pose a transnational threat. The UN was among the first bodies to declare that the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba fit that description.

Half-a-dozen LeT leaders, including its chief Hafiz Saeed, figure in the list. Their inclusion came about soon after the Mumbai terror attacks.

Dawood in Karachi

Interestingly, one other major figure, wanted in India, gangster-turned-terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, is on the list and the UN puts his location squarely in Pakistan, listing four of his properties in Karachi.