Karzai Denies Meeting With Haqqanis

At his senate confirmation hearing yesterday, new Afghan commander Gen. David Petraeus said Afghan president Hamid Karzai denies ever meeting with a leader of the Haqqani network, the most dangerous of the numerous insurgent groups operating in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

An Al Jazeera press report over the weekend said that Karzai had met with Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has largely taken over day-to-day operations of the insurgent network from his father and famed mujaheddin commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, and members of Pakistan’s powerful intelligence directorate, the ISI. Karzai’s office issued an official denial of the report.

Petraeus told senators that he had spoken with Karzai multiple times by phone and had received his personal guarantee that press claims of a meeting with Haqqani were false.

U.S. intelligence officials now tell Bill Roggio that a face-to-face meeting between Karzai and Sirajuddin was impossible if for no other reason than Karzai is always accompanied by a heavy American security detail. The same officials do not dispute that backchannel talks to broker some sort of reconciliation and power sharing deal are underway between Pakistani intelligence, the Haqqanis and Karzai.

The Afghan insurgency is made up of three main groups: the Quetta Shura Taliban, Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), and the Haqqani Network (HQN). The Haqqani network is based in eastern Afghanistan and the Taliban controlled area of North Waziristan in Pakistan and is noted for its expertise in IED and complex attacks.

— Greg Grant

  • WarScientist

    Notice how the majority of those guys are using PKM’s with the 7.62x54R round. We should be using the same ratio of support weapons to assault weapons if you ask me.

  • Dr.Safwat Ayoub

    The rise and fall of a President
    Urdu-Pashtu media today criticize President Hamid Karzai’s policy of releasing Taliban prisoners. Members of Wolesi Jirga (lower house of the Afghan parliament) argue that it will signal to Taliban that government is weak and will not lead to positive consequences for restoring peace, a recipe for disaster. Thus, they accuse Karzai of “victimizing justice”. A couple of weeks ago Karzai was in favour of NATO campaign to defeat the Taliban. Only 2 days before that, two senior Afghan officials were showing Karzai solid evidence of the spectacular rocket attack on a nation peace conference earlier this month when Mr. Karzai “treated it like a piece of dirt” and told them he believed Taliban were not responsible. [to follow]

  • D.Safwat Ayoub

    Amrullah Saleh,ousted chief of Intelligence together with fired Interior Minister and the chief Afghan Human Rights Commission,all accused Karzai of adopting a soft policy on Taliban. For them, Karzai pursues a dangerous strategy in seeking peace with Taliban. An editorial in Pakistani daily “Dawn” asks why Karzai enters into secret talks with terrorist groups like Haqqani.Many believe that by firing his 2 closest protectors to gain Taliban support, Karzai signed his end. [to follow, last part]

  • Dr.Safwat Ayoub

    Media reported this week that to overcome Taliban, US and Afghan authorities “recruited” tribal factions. This is precisely what we suggested more than 2 years ago: a war by proxy, as in the Yemen war in the 60s. For NATO’s victory, Karzai’s fate has to be settled first. War profiteers and fat cats enriched from a prolonged war, be they here or there ought to be checked. No one can rely on an ally who announces his dual allegiance, an impetuous leader in a breach of trust. We have to be prepared and not be dragged into shifting sands. Dr.Safwat Ayoub.