News / Asia

Clinton Facing Deadline on Terrorist Designation for Haqqani

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a joint news conference with New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key (not pictured) in Rarotonga August 31, 2012.US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a joint news conference with New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key (not pictured) in Rarotonga August 31, 2012.
x
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a joint news conference with New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key (not pictured) in Rarotonga August 31, 2012.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a joint news conference with New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key (not pictured) in Rarotonga August 31, 2012.
RAROTONGA, Cook Islands – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is facing a Congressional deadline for deciding whether the Pakistani Haqqani network meets the definition of a terrorist organization.  Labeling the group as such may complicate Afghan reconciliation efforts and U.S. relations with Pakistan.
 
Secretary Clinton says she will meet the September 9 deadline to tell Congress whether the Haqqani group should be considered terrorists.
 
Several leaders of the al-Qaida- and Taliban-linked group are already subject to U.S. sanctions, but Congress wants the entire Haqqani network named a terrorist organization as it is now widely seen as the biggest threat to U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.
 
With the deadline approaching, there have been press reports of division within the Obama administration on the Haqqani question between those who see the terrorist designation as a show of strength and those who are more cautious about its regional impact.
 
Speaking to reporters in the Cook Islands, Secretary Clinton refused to comment on those reports, seeking instead to underscore what she says is steady U.S. pressure on the group.
 
"We are drying up their resources. We are targeting their military and intelligence personnel. We are pressing the Pakistanis to step up their own efforts. So we're already taking action, and we will have more to say about the specific request from the Congress next week," said Clinton.
 
The secretary of state is empowered to designate the group a terrorist organization if she determines that it is engaged in activities that threaten the security of the United States and its citizens.
 
Adding Haqqani to that list could slow efforts to negotiate an end to the Afghan conflict as it may be more difficult to include Haqqani leaders in a new government. There remain hopes that talks with the Taliban that were suspended in March could resume with the end of this year's Afghan fighting season.
 
Secretary Clinton says those are decisions for Afghans. She discussed the issue here in the Cook Islands with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who agrees that the question of negotiating with the Taliban or other groups is fundamentally a matter for Kabul.
 
"They will in the end have to try and find a way through what is a difficult situation and come to a conclusion of how that can best be handled. And I wouldn't be surprised if part of that attempt to deliver greater security in Afghanistan is some discussions, but that's ultimately a matter for President [Hamid] Karzai," said Key.
 
Secretary Clinton's decision on the Haqqani network could also affect relations with Pakistan as the group is believed to have close ties with elements of Pakistani intelligence services that are pushing for its inclusion in Afghan reconciliation efforts.
 
Months of sour relations between the United States and Pakistani are only just now easing with July's reopening of crucial military supply lines across the Afghan border that Pakistan closed following last year's killing of 24 Pakistani troops in a U.S. air strike.
 
On a visit to Islamabad last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Pakistan's military will soon begin a long-awaited offensive in the North Waziristan border region, where the Haqqani network is based.
 
U.S. officials say a drone strike in Pakistan last week killed the day-to-day operations commander of the network, Badruddin Haqqani.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid