Haqqani network is driving the Taliban today: NATO Commander

Haqqani network is driving the Taliban today: NATO Commander

WASHINGTON The Haqqani Network has been responsible for several high-profile terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, a top NATO commander said on Wednesday.

“The second in command in the Haqqani network is effectively driving the Taliban today. A number of high-profile attacks in Afghanistan in the last couple of months were delivered by the Haqqani network,” Pavel claimed, Pajhwok news has reported.

Pakistan had an important role to play in the Afghan peace process, Pavel noted, explaining that meant creating conditions where all opposing forces would see their chance at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield.

“That is what we would like to achieve. Whatever differences are between the central government and the Taliban would be better handled at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield,” he said.

Pakistan had a crucial role because there was an apparent link between the Haqqani network operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the general argued.

The issue had creates some tension between the US and Pakistan, Pavel said, adding there had been some positive moves by Islamabad. “But still from time to time, we see cross border clashes between Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

Pavel said he had seen media reports about Russian arming the Taliban. “Up till now, we do not see significant progress between NATO and Russia on how to handle the situation in Afghanistan.

“We are calling on all the actors in Afghanistan, including Russia, to take a responsible stand to contribute to the stabilisation and to a peaceful resolution of the problem.

“Russia, China, India and Pakistan all should be part of this solution. Up till now, we do not see any significant problem with Russian when it comes to Afghanistan,” General Pavel concluded