Haqqani network disrupted due to military ops: Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday said its military operation in North Waziristan tribal region near Afghan border has weakened the dreaded Haqqani network and disrupted the Taliban-affiliated group's ability to carry out major attacks across the border on Afghan and foreign forces.

Toronto: Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday said its military operation in North Waziristan tribal region near Afghan border has weakened the dreaded Haqqani network and disrupted the Taliban-affiliated group's ability to carry out major attacks across the border on Afghan and foreign forces.

"The infrastructure of the Haqqani network in North Waziristan, which included the improvised explosive device factories and a number of other capacities, including communication, has been disrupted," Prime Minister's advisor on national security Sartaj Aziz said.

"So what is left here may be very limited compared to the capacity they still have in Afghanistan," he said at a joint press conference with German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

"Our assessment is that their capacity in Afghanistan is much, much bigger - probably 80-90 per cent compared to what it is here," Aziz added about the group behind some of the deadliest attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan.

Steinmeier said he does believe the assessment of Pakistan that the Haqqani network has been disrupted.

"We have also seen that Pakistani security forces have paid a heavy toll in the military action," he added.

His remarks came a day after US National Security Advisor Susan Rice visited Pakistan and asked for more concrete steps against the militant group.

The US has long accused that Pakistan was not doing enough against some militants groups, including Haqqanis who it has blamed for several bloody bombings and attacks in the Afghan capital in recent weeks, but Pakistan says that it cannot be blamed for failure of Afghanistan against militancy.

Pakistan also says that the Zarb-e-Azb offensive launched last June was against all militant groups and that none is being spared.

According to US and Afghan intelligence reports, the Haqqani network was based in Pakistan's tribal North Waziristan till June last year when military operation was launched in the area though it has carried out several major attacks inside Afghanistan.

Sirajuddin Haqqani alias Khalifa, leader of the network who carries a US bounty of USD 10 million on his head, was made deputy of Taliban's new chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor last month.

Though the Haqqani network was allied with Taliban and followed Omar, it carried out its operations independently.