Haqqani network is the sword arm of Taliban with Pakistan the common parent

The Haqqani network is a jihad group incorporated in Pakistan with two of its members, Sirajuddin Haqqani, deputy leader of Taliban, and Khalil Haqqani, the Taliban emissary, carry USD 15 million in reward on their head.
Khalil Haqqani, brother of Jalaluddin Haqqani and uncle of Sirajuddin Haqqani, controls the HKI airport and enforces Taliban diktat through whip in Kabul.
Khalil Haqqani, brother of Jalaluddin Haqqani and uncle of Sirajuddin Haqqani, controls the HKI airport and enforces Taliban diktat through whip in Kabul.
Published on Aug 28, 2021 12:22 PM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Biden administration’s Machiavellian approach in white washing the Taliban and call it a separate entity from Haqqani network shows the desperation of US to exit Afghanistan at whatever the cost. State Department spokesperson Ned Price is a spin doctor for the Biden administration, but his statement that the Taliban and Haqqani network are separate entities shows his shallow knowledge of jihadists in Af-Pak region. The fundamental rule of the game is that there are no good terrorists and political Islam is a way to seize power not sermon the believers.

While one can understand the reason behind Ned Price’s lie, but if this is the understanding of the State Department then the war against terrorism globally is doomed. The rather feckless administration of Joe Biden may now cover up for sharing list of American evacuees and Special Immigrant Visa holders by drawing this unheard off distinction, but everyone knows that Mullah Omar, the one-eyed founder of the Taliban, was radicalised in Darul Uloom Haqqania in Khyber-Paktunkhwa, from which the Haqqani network derives its name. The Haqqani network is a jihad group incorporated in Pakistan with two of its members, Sirajuddin Haqqani, deputy leader of Taliban, and Khalil Haqqani, the Taliban emissary, carry USD 15 million in reward on their head. Another relative Anas Haqqani is at the center of negotiations among the various factions of Taliban as also with the Panjshiri resistance. Fact is that Kabul is under control of over 6,000 murderous cadre of Haqqani network with Mullah Yaqoob, son of Mullah Omar, playing the second fiddle.

While there may be several ideological fault-lines among the various jihadists groups spawned in Pakistan, there is unity among these terrorists when the target is the democratic world. Puritan Islamists describe all these terrorist groups as “Takfirs” as they have no qualms in killing Sunnis what to talk of Shia Kaffirs in pursuance of their political objectives. So the Haqqani network’s logistics support is used by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to mount attack on Indian embassy in Kabul just as the so-called Islamic State of Khorasan is used by Pakistani deep state to target Indians in Afghanistan. The Jaish-e-Mohammed under the leadership of Mufti Rauf Azhar operates on both sides of Pakistani border. It fought the US led coalition forces along with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, while its is part of training camps with Haqqani network across the Khyber Pass. If Ned Price has any difficulty in understanding this, then they should ask UK intelligence, to whom the Americans outsourced the entire Afghan policy due to their legacy relationship with Rawalpindi.

Although for Biden administration it really does not matter to find out the umbilical relations between Haqqani etwork and the Taliban after they exit Kabul but the graveyard that is Afghanistan has surely buried another empire after the British and the Soviets. Only time will tell whether US loses power the Soviet way after the 1979 withdrawal (it is called de-induction in military jingo) from Afghanistan or rise yet again after the 1976 Saigon withdrawal. Either way the situation is bleak.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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