Some reports say the US Congress is pressuring Clinton to state her position based on the Clinton report published after the Haqqani network conducted an attack on the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 12, 2012
Secretary of State Clinton submitted a request to Congress to name the Haqqani network as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The US Treasury Department has designated the Haqqanis as a terrorist network and so has the State Department in an executive order (13224). Once the US Congress ratifies Clinton’s request, the Haqqanis would be a terrorist organisation under US law. By law, the US can prosecute and freeze the assets of organisations and countries that fund or willfully harbour terrorist networks. This new law will strangle key funding channels for the Haqqanis.
A recent report issued by the Institute for the Study of War has broken down the Haqqani network into its discernible parts. Because the Haqqani family runs this well-funded syndicate, its best to think of them as a religious mafia operating a business network across the Persian gulf, the Arab middle east, and south Asia with its headquarters in the mountains dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan.
A common, applicable euphemism for this group would be ‘Murder Inc.’
The report argues that unlike other small time insurgent groups operating in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the Haqqani network is so flush with cash that it can quickly regenerate itself. Its power base is its financial links across the world and the terrorist designation slapped on it by Congress will paralyze those business networks that make it so resilient.
The Haqqani network is a subsidiary of Pakistani intelligence services, the Inter Service Intelligence, or ISI. They have conducted proxy operations for the Pakistani military elite for the better part of thirty years according to the report and are at the apex of the johadist crime syndicate that has kept Afghanistan in a state or perpetual bondage and ruin since the late 1970s.
When the USSR invaded and occupied the country, the US entered into a dangerous and unpredictable alliance with Pakistan mediated by the CIA and the ISI. This dynamic is capture in the entertaining movie Charlie Wilson’s War (or better yet, Rambo 3). The US gave covert money to the ISI to fund a guerrilla war in an effort to end the Soviet Occupation, which lasted from December 1979 to May 1988.
Ahmed Rashid who is among the very finest journalists in the world, (let alone Pakistan) was there at the Khyber Pass in 1989 when the Soviets were retreating and shambolic, ragtag militia-men entered the wretched, fecund womb the soviets left behind. It was the moment of conception, where the Middle East became impregnated by religious, weaponized fundamentalism:
Suddenly, along the road behind me, a truck full of Mujaheddin roared up and stopped. But those on board were not Afghans…The group was made up of Filipino Moros, Uzbeks from Soviet Central Asia, Arabs from Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and Uighurs from Xingjiang in China…Under training at a camp near the border they were going on weekend leave to Peshawar…They had come to fight the jihad with the Mujaheddin and to train in weapons, bomb-making and military tactics so they could take the jihad back home.
Indeed the whole gang was there, roaring by Ahmed with left behind (or stolen) Soviet weaponry. A few hours later, Ahmed would ask the Lt. General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) the purpose for these these men. The reply: “We are fighting a jihad and this is the first Islamic international brigades in the modern world”.
The question is, what took the US government so long to call the Haqqani network by its rightful name? According to a study by the Council on Foreign Relations, entitled ‘The Haqqani Nexus and the Evolution of Al-Qaeda‘, the Haqqanis have provided the resources for all of the US main enemies in the War on Terror.
Senior advisers in the White House claim it would harm Pakistani-US relations. Pakistan is still stinging from the Bin Laden raid, which exposed them as complicit in hiding the universe’s most wanted terrorist. They defended themselves by saying their sovereignty was trampled on by the US. Pakistan’s internal stability is based on the $3 billion in aid given over to it by the US in the first place. Can such a dependent semi-colony of the US honestly be called a sovereign country?