Washington: Pakistan-based Haqqani network is a deadly terrorist outfit, which is responsible for more than 90 percent of the civilian casualties in eastern part of Afghanistan, a top US military official based in this part of the war-torn country believes.
Incidentally, the Haqqani network which has been involved in a large number of major terrorist attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, besides being held responsible for killing of a number of American soldiers is yet to be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation by the US.
The State Department says the process is on, but has not set a time line for it.
"If it was declared a foreign terrorist organisation, there are certain other factors that other organisations, whether it`s Treasury, State, international communities, could enact against the Haqqani Network that could potentially help or disrupt the Haqqani Network," Major General John Campbell said.
Campbell is the Commanding General of the Regional Command East which consists of 14 Afghan provinces including Bamyan, Nangarh, Laghman, Wardak and Ghazani.
In a news briefing with Pentagon reporters through a secure video conferencing from Afghanistan, Campbell said the Haqqani network is one of the most dangerous networks that he faces in eastern Afghanistan.
"The Haqqani network is probably one of the most dangerous networks here that we face -- direct tie right back into Kabul, for years has been based out of Khost and Paktia and has now moved into several different provinces like Wardak and Logar," he said.
"If you take a look at what happened with the Kabul conference here last week, where the Haqqani network and other insurgent networks had claimed that they would really attack that, and their desired goal was to upset and disrupt that convention," Campbell said.
"The result was, they were not able to do that, that`s because of the great work done by the coalition forces in and around Kabul, by our special operating forces, and then by our Afghan partners.”
“So it is still a very deadly network," he said.
Referring to the first female suicide bomber up in Kunar recently, Campbell said the Haqqani network is now a little bit desperate.
"Over the course of the last nine years, there`s been about 450, somewhere around there, suicide attacks in Afghanistan.”
“That`s the first by a female, which really shows you that I think the Haqqani network is getting a little bit desperate, that they`ve stooped down to use females as suicide bombers, really disgracing the Muslim culture here of doing that," Campbell said.