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US again pressures Pakistan to target Haqqani network

Kabul, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 ANI

Kabul, Apr 20(ANI): US ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker has called on Pakistan to target the Haqqani Network, saying there was "no question" that the group mounted recent co-ordinated attacks on Kabul and other areas over the weekend.

Crocker described the Haqqanis as "a group of killers, pure and simple", and said they may be a irreconcilable faction of the Afghan insurgency.

He argued that the solution to the Haqqani problem would be found in Pakistan.

"I don't think it's a question of going to war with Pakistan to solve this problem. It's getting the Pakistanis to take the necessary action themselves to eliminate a threat not only to Afghanistan and the United States but also to Pakistan," The Daily Times quoted Crocker, as saying.

"There is no question in our mind that the Haqqanis were responsible for these attacks. "We know where their leadership lives and we know where these plans are made. They're not made in Afghanistan. They're made in Miranshah which is in North Waziristan, which is in Pakistan," he added.

His statement came after the recent series of co-ordinated attacks on Kabul highlighted the ability of terrorists to strike high-profile targets in the heart of the capital even after a decade-long civil war.

The United States has repeatedly urged Pakistan's military to launch a major offensive in North Waziristan to target Haqqanis, but Pakistan said it is already stretched fighting Taliban near the Afghan border.

Analysts said Pakistan, recipient of billions of dollars in US aid, sees the Haqqanis as a strategic asset that acts as a counterweight to the influence of rival India in Afghanistan. Pakistan, however, denies that claim.

The Haqqani network, which is linked to al Qaeda, said it is no longer based in Pakistan and operates only from Afghanistan because it had made serious battlefield gains. (ANI)

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