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Saturday, 26 November 2011

US quietly sought Pak help to stop Haqqani attack

 For years, US officials have pushed Pakistan?s military to attack the Haqqani network, or at least block its ability to cross the Afghan border, or at least cut off whatever financial and other support Pakistan?s spy service continues to provide to the insurgent group, reported The Washington Post.
All to little avail.
But it turns out that US officials have at times also tried another, more humble approach: simply asking Pakistani leaders to appeal to Haqqani to refrain from certain attacks.
Earlier, this month, Gen. John Allen, the US commander in Afghanistan, travelled to Rawalpindi to share intelligence with COAS Gen.Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The intelligence indicated that the Haqqanis were planning a truck bomb attack on a US military installation in Afghanistan.
A US military official familiar with the Sept. 8 visit, which was first reported by The Guardian, said Allen asked Kayani to intervene not by disrupting the plot but by using his influence to dissuade Haqqani forces from carrying it out.
?We knew [an attack] was coming but we didn?t know where?, a US military official said. ?We didn?t know when, what trucks?, the Post said. Three days later, on Sept. 11, a truck bomb killed two Afghan civilians and wounded nearly 80 NATO soldiers at a military base in the Wardak province.
The official said the US military had drawn ?no conclusions? as to whether Kayani had tried to intervene. But Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff, told a Congressional panel that the Haqqani network was a ?veritable arm? of the Pakistani intelligence service?an assertion that other top US officials involved in the region are calling provocative and overstated.
The Sept. 8 meeting and request suggests a US idea to two realities: the Pakistan-Haqqani relationship may never be severed, and CIA drone strikes and US military raids aren?t enough to stop Haqqani attacks in Afghanistan.

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