WASHINGTON: US Senators have introduced a legislation in the US Senate asking for the Haqqani Network to be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO).
“Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress agree that the Haqqani Network is a violent terrorist organization and grave threat to our security,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan said in a statement last month when he introduced a bill that would call on the Obama administration to designate the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
“If you designate the Haqqani network an FTO, then there would be significant pressure placed on the United States and the international community to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism,” Rick “Ozzie” Nelson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Security Clearance. “It would be hard to avoid going down that road.”
The group’s presence inside Pakistan has become a major sticking point in an already badly strained U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
Earlier, Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said that elements in Pakistan’s spy service are “very active” with the Haqqani network, however Pakistanis has denied that is the case but the Pentagon says Pakistan has not done enough to stop the violence.
“The Haqqanis need to be dealt with,” said Pentagon spokesman George Little on Tuesday. “We are bringing a great deal of pressure to bear on the Haqqanis, and we believe that on the Pakistani side of the border, that additional action needs to be taken by the Pakistanis to root out this network of militants that is a menace to Afghanistan and to Pakistan.”
In the press release, Senator Chambliss dubbed the Obama administration’s failure to designate the Haqqani network as a FTO as indefensible. “The Haqqanis have conducted numerous attacks against our military personnel, assaulted our embassy in Kabul and continue to pose a grave threat to the security and interests of the United States. It is well past time to designate this network as a terrorist group,” he stated.
The press release said that the Senators had also written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in May, asking her to immediately designate the Haqqani Network as a FTO. (Online)