The Obama administration is in the final stages of a “formal review” on whether to declare the Pakistan-based Haqqani group a “foreign terrorist organization,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers are urging U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to designate a militant group behind attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan as a “foreign terrorist organization,” an action which might further strain U.S. relations with Pakistan.
– The political pressure on President Barack Obama to speed the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has grown since the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and is complicating his second goal in the region: getting Pakistan to move against Taliban operations on its side of the border.
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 ouster yesterday of Pakistan’s envoy to Washington marks a victory for the nation’s military and spy services in a power struggle with elected leaders that may strain U.S. relations, former U.S. officials said.
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.
The U.S. is taking a more demanding approach to Pakistan since Osama bin Laden’s May 2 death, pressing for increased counterterrorism cooperation just as the Pakistani public and the nation’s powerful officer corps are calling for less.