Taliban denounce Haqqani blacklisting by US
09 September, 2012
KABUL: The US move to blacklist the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network as a terrorist organisation was denounced by the Taliban on Saturday. The Taliban claimed that the move would prove 'ineffective' and was indicative of US defeat in Afghanistan.
In a statement released through micro-blogging site Twitter, the Taliban said that the Haqqani network was not a separate entitiy and that the network's founder and its fighters were totally loyal to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.
The militia, which is leading a decade-long insurgency against NATO troops and the Afghan government, claimed that previous terrorist designations of its members had no impact on operations and said that this latest announcement would also prove ineffective.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that she would press ahead with the Haqqani blacklisting, which will make it a crime in the United States to provide the network with any material support, and freeze any of their property or interests in the US.
The United States blamed the Haqqanis for a hotel attack in June outside Kabul, the 2011 siege on the US embassy and, in 2009, the deadliest attack on the CIA in 25 years.
"The Islamic Emirate does not have any trade agreements with any American companies or individuals and neither does it have monetary funds there which could be frozen," the Taliban said.
"This cowardly act of yours in which you enter mujahideen of Islamic Emirate into your so-called black list is indicative of your complete defeat and dismay."
Earlier on Saturday, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide attack outside NATO headquarters in Kabul, which, according to Afghan police, killed six young Afghans aged 12 to 17.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that the CIA had been the target and that although the bombing was a month in planning, it was also a response to US move against the Haqqanis.
The statement said that the blacklisting would strengthen its determination to fight the Americans.
Founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former CIA asset and also close to Pakistani intelligence services, the Haqqani network is militarily the most capable of the Taliban factions.
Former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen said last year that the Haqqani network had become a 'veritable arm' of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence. This triggered concern in Pakistan that the US is indirectly branding Pakistan as a terrorist state through the branding of the Haqqani network. However, US officials downplayed such fears and insisted that Islamabad had been informed in advance. They stressed that the move would not hamper any future peace talks with the Taliban.