ISI talks peace with Haqqani network: Report

Pakistan`s spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is trying to convince the insurgent Haqqani network to join Afghan peace talks, media report said.

Last Updated: May 18, 2011, 10:01 AM IST

New York: Pakistan`s spy agency, the
Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is trying to convince the insurgent Haqqani network to join Afghan peace talks, media
report said.

Officials and tribal elders with ties to the group
said that the ISI wants the group to join Afghan peace talks,
suggesting that Pakistan was unlikely to heed the US warning
that it must act soon, The Wall Street Journal reported.

US wants Pakistan to crackdown on the militant group,
which has carried out several attacks in Afghanistan.

A tribal elder from North Waziristan, who has contacts
with Haqqani`s inner circle, said the network has been alarmed
by the persistent CIA drone strikes and the killing of Osama
bin Laden in Abbotabad.

"They may want to talk," the elder was quoted as
saying in the report.

In an indication that the Haqqanis were worried, their
compounds in North Waziristan`s capital Miran Shah was emptied
out in the days following the raid and killing of al-Qaeda
chief Osama bin Laden, the elder said.

The US officials said that the group`s chief
Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is based in Pakistan`s North
Waziristan tribal area, is a potential target for a raid like
the one that killed bin Laden.

But US officials said they want to spare Pakistan from
the embarrassment caused after the killing of Osama bin Laden,
and would rather like Pakistan to get Haqqani.

"If the Pakistanis want to avoid the fallout of any
potential revelations, they `need to get ahead of us on this
and show they are willing to work with us`," said a senior US
official.

The Haqqanis have not been included in tentative peace
talks initiated with the main Taliban leadership headed by
Mullah Omar.

"I don`t see any evidence that makes me think Haqqani
is a guy we`re going to want to be talking to," the US
official said.

PTI