Raja Faisal, a Pakistani journalist on Sunday claimed in a tweet that the US has removed terrorist organization ‘Haqqani Network’ from the blacklist following Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
“A day after the “World must help Taliban” addresser of Pakistan Premier IMRAN KHAN at #UNGA US removes ‘Haqqani Network’ from the blacklist,” tweeted Faisal.
Haqqani Network is an Islamist terror group from Afghanistan and is often considered an ‘offshoot’ of the Taliban, the Islamist group which now governs Afghanistan.
However, that is not true. Here’s the reality.
Pakistan journalist Faisal in his tweet used an old image of Badruddin Haqqani to make claims about the terror organisation removed from the blacklist. As per a Wall Street Journal report, the US Treasury Department in 2013 had announced the delisting of Badruddin Haqqani, an operational leader of the Haqqani Network from the blacklist after he was confirmed dead in August 2012. Haqqani was branded a ‘global terrorist’ by the US State Department in 2011.
The deceased terrorist was then also pulled down from the list by a United Nations Security Council sanctions committee in the same week.
Badruddin’s death was confirmed by his family. A family member of the terrorist had said that he was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan’s North Wazrisitan in August 2011.
It is imperative to note that the Haqqani Network continues to be on the US State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) sanction list.
At present, the Haqqani Network is a part of Afghanistan’s caretaker government sharing responsibilities with the Taliban. According to the reports, Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, is currently under the control of nearly 6,000 jihadis of the Haqqani Network led by Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani.
Essentially, Pakistani journalist used a 2012 news about a Haqqani Network terrorist being removed from the blacklist after he was declared dead to claim the Islamist group itself has been removed from the blacklist.
The Haqqani Network
The Haqqani Network, an offshoot of the Taliban, is the Afghan Mujahideen group that emerged in the 1980s to wage ‘Jihad’ against the Soviet troops and later the US-led NATO forces. The network now has become more integrated within the Taliban and coordinates closely with the Islamist outfit.
The Haqqanis hail from southeastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan. The network has been accused of some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, including the 2008 assault on the five-star Serena Hotel in Kabul, the 2012 attack on a US base in Khost, and the 2017 truck bombing near the German Embassy in Kabul that killed 96 people.
The Haqqani Network in association with Al-Qaeda had conducted joint terror training camps in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region after the US invasion.
According to expert Peter Bergen, the Haqqani Network had also helped Bin Laden to escape Afghanistan when American forces were closing in on him during the Battle of Tora Bora in 2001.