Islamabad: The United States is reportedly eager to seek a rapprochement with the Haqqani Network, and is willing not only to engage the group in talks, but also to give it an important role in the future political dispensation of Afghanistan, a senior American military official has said.
According to the official, the US would hand over the control of three Afghan provinces to the Haqqanis if they agreed to withdraw their support for the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, reports The Express Tribune.
The Haqqani network, led by warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, is blamed for most of the deadliest attacks against the US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan. It is also credited with introducing suicide bombings as a major tactic of their asymmetric warfare.
This is not the first time Washington showed its willingness to cut a deal with the Haqqanis. Following the ouster of the Taliban regime in 2001, the US had offered Jalaluddin Haqqani top positions - but he opted to fight them. The Haqqanis are considered crucial for the success of the Taliban insurgency.
The top US military official acknowledged that the Haqqani Network was posing a real threat to the NATO /ISAF mission in Afghanistan.
"The Taliban use IEDs, but the Haqqanis have the ability and capability to cause the maximum damage to the foreign forces in Afghanistan," he said.
"Our objective is very clear that we want to dismantle the ability of the Haqqanis to target foreign forces in Afghanistan. If this can be done by bringing them to the negotiating table, we won`t mind that," he added.