News

    US Blames Haqqani Network for Afghanistan Attacks

    Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan (file photo)
    Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan (file photo)

    U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said Thursday that there is "no question" the Pakistan-based Haqqani network was behind this week's coordinated attacks in Kabul and other eastern cities, targeting Western embassies.

    Speaking to reporters in Kabul, Ambassador Crocker called the Haqqani insurgents “the worst of the worst” and “a group of killers, pure and simple.”

    The U.S. ambassador said that in a meeting this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to end insurgent sanctuaries in the border areas.

    “She said that action has to be taken against these groups and against the safe havens that they currently enjoy because they are a threat to Afghanistan, they are a threat to the United States and the international community, and they are a threat to Pakistan itself,” the ambassador said.

    Tension

    Anti-American sentiment in Pakistan has been on the rise in the last year following a number of incidents that many Pakistanis see as violations of their sovereignty. Those include the U.S. special forces raid in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden and a NATO cross-border airstrike in November that inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

    Following the airstrike, Pakistan virtually severed diplomatic relations with the United States and closed a vital NATO supply route to Afghanistan. Recently the Pakistani parliament unanimously passed a set of recommendations for resetting relations that includes a demand to end U.S. drone strikes in the border areas.

    Washington is eager to rebuild its relationship with Pakistan in part because it will need the NATO supply route to for the planned 2014 drawdown of most combat troops in Afghanistan. But U.S. officials have not been willing to end drone strikes, which they say are key to success against al-Qaida and the Taliban. The drone attacks are believed to be carried out with the help of Pakistani intelligence.

    Motive

    Many Pakistani observers, like former ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand, believe U.S. claims that the Haqqani network is behind attacks in Afghanistan are politically motivated to justify drone strikes. Mohmand says the U.S. is lying either when it says the Haqqani network has sanctuaries in Pakistan or when it claims that the drone program has been effective.

    “From the American point of view, the sanctuaries of the Haqqani network exist here in Pakistan," he said. "If that is true and that is verified, so what have the drones been doing? I mean they have been dropping, they have been striking those targets for the last five, six years.”

    Complications

    Disagreements over the drone program in light of the recent attacks in Afghanistan could further complicate talks between the U.S. and Pakistan to work together to bring stability to the border regions.

    Ambassador Crocker also voiced U.S. support for Afghan government-led peace talks with Taliban insurgent groups. He said he hopes the Taliban chooses to reconcile with the Afghan government, which would mean breaking all ties with al Qaida, a total end to violence and accepting the Afghan constitution, including its protections for women and minorities.

    Related video report by Meredith Buel:

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora