Pak vows to take action against Haqqani network

Malik claimed Pakistan and the US were working together to resolve the "irritant" of the Haqqani network.

Islamabad: Amid mounting pressure on
Pakistan to cut its links with the Haqqani terror network,
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Thursday promised action against
the al-Qaeda linked Taliban faction if the US provides
actionable intelligence.

"I have assured them (the US) they are not on the
Pakistani side (of the border with Afghanistan) but if there
is intelligence which is provided by the US, we will
definitely take action," Malik told reporters after talks with
visiting FBI director Robert Mueller late last night.

Malik claimed Pakistan and the US were working together
to resolve the "irritant" of the Haqqani network.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua
today rejected US allegations that the ISI is using the
Haqqani network for a proxy war.

Asked about the accusations during a weekly news
briefing, she said: "I would say a categorical no."

The US and Pakistan need to coordinate their
counter-terrorism efforts and foreign troops in Afghanistan
should act against sanctuaries in Afghanistan from which
militants have launched attacks on Pakistani soil, she said.
Janjua reiterated Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar`s
contention that the responsibility for "effectively countering
terrorism must be shared by all" and that pro-active action
must be taken against "areas that harbour terrorism on the
other side of the border".

The cross-border attacks from Afghanistan had been raised
with the US, she said.
In a severe indictment of Pakistan`s links with terror
groups, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff today said the ISI provided support to the Haqqani
terror network in carrying out the recent attack on the
country`s embassy in Kabul. Admiral Mullen said in his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the "Haqqani network, for one,
acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan`s Inter-Services
Intelligence Agency."

"With ISI support, Haqqani operatives planned and
conducted that truck bomb attack, as well as the assault on
our embassy," the top US commander told the Congressional
panel.

We also have credible intelligence that they were behind
the June 28th attack against the Inter-Continental Hotel in
Kabul and a host of other smaller but effective operations,"
he said.

"In choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of
policy, the government of Pakistan -- and most especially the
Pakistani Army and ISI -- jeopardises not only the prospect of
our strategic partnership, but also Pakistan`s opportunity to
be a respected nation with legitimate regional influence,”
Mullen said.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter too blamed the
Haqqani network for a recent attack on the American embassy in
Kabul that killed 14 people and said there was evidence
linking the group to the Pakistani government.

Foreign Office spokesperson Janjua evaded a flurry of
questions on remarks by American leaders that the US could
resort to unilateral action against the Haqqani network,
saying only that Pakistan wanted to have relations with the US
based on "mutual respect, interest and trust".

The two countries were hold meetings at various levels
and "communication links were open" to discuss all issues in a
"mature and respectful manner", Janjua said.

"These meetings reflect the deep, deep discussions and
engagements at all levels," she added.

Though US officials have told the media that Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton warned Pakistan to act against the
Haqqani network during a meeting with Foreign Minister Khar in
New York, Janjua described the meeting as "good and
constructive".

She said the two sides were putting in place a "work
plan to address each other?s concerns".

PTI

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