Cease violence to get off terror list: US to Haqqani network
Washington: Pakistan-based dreaded Haqqani network would have to renounce violence and cease terrorist operations to get off the list of global terrorist groups by the State Department, US officials have said.
Such a statement from senior administration officials came after the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informed the Congress that the Haqqani network meets the criteria of being designated as a terrorist organisation and she has the intent to do so.
"We have a very clear set of criteria for getting off the list, and there are a number of different ways it can happen.
"I think the key thing is that they have to renounce violence, cease terrorist operations, and demonstrate that they no longer have the intent or capability to carry out violent attacks," a senior administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
"So they have some distance to travel, I would say. But groups can, indeed, get off the list. That should be clear to them and to everyone else," the official said responding to the questions of reports in this regard.
With the designation of Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organisation, senior official said that the US is further limiting the organisation's capacity to carry out terrorist attacks against the US and its interests abroad.
"We are giving ourselves greater tools to attack their financing.
"We are continuing to aggressively pursue them militarily in Afghanistan, and we are utilising our intelligence and counter terrorism capabilities against them wherever they may be," the official said adding that the actions announced strengthen their whole-of-government effort against the Haqqanis and demonstrates the seriousness with which they take the task of protecting its personnel in Afghanistan.
The Pakistan government was informed before Clinton's decisions were made public.
"We have and will continue to engage with Pakistan to ensure we are cooperating as effectively as possible to eliminate the threat posed to both US and Pakistani interests," he said.
Officials clarified that Clinton informed the US Congress of her intent to designate the Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organisation, because of technical reasons.
"The Secretary has announced her intent because there is a process that's normally employed here in which there would be a seven-day notification period to Congress followed by three days before the publication in the Federal Register," he said.
"Those time periods will continue to be observed; but because of the congressional reporting requirement, she's announcing now her intent to designate.
"That applies to the FTO designation; the Executive Order designation happens much more rapidly and without a special notification," the official said.