The U.S. decision to blacklist the Haqqani Network may increase tensions with Pakistan, where the militant group has bases, substantial economic activities and ties to the country’s intelligence services.
The Obama administration is likely to tell Congress that the Haqqani network meets the criteria for being declared a foreign terrorist group, three U.S. government officials said, stopping short of saying such a designation would be made immediately.
In confirmation hearings last week, Richard Olson, President Barack Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Pakistan, said his top priority would be working with the Pakistanis to degrade the Taliban-allied Haqqani network.
Pakistan’s military encirclement of the country’s biggest concentration of Taliban guerrillas, which intensified this month, may fail to yield a decisive blow against the faction that is a primary target of the U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Pakistan to deliver a U.S. warning that the nation will pay “a very big price” if it fails to move against the Islamic militants staging cross-border attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The U.S. is running out of patience with Pakistan over its failure to crack down on the Haqqani guerrilla group, which has stepped up attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.
Top American officials blamed a Taliban faction with ties to Pakistan’s military intelligence agency for the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and said the Obama administration will not accept its haven in Pakistan.