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BBC:Haqqani says US pressing him to join the Afghan gov’t, denies role in Rabbani killing

LONDON – A BBC report quoted Afghan insurgent leader Siraj
Haqqani on Monday as saying he’s been approached by the United States to
join the Afghan government and denying that his militant group was
behind the killing of the top Afghan peace envoy.

The Pakistan-based Haqqani network is affiliated with both
the Taliban and al-Qaida and has been described U.S. and other western
nations as the top security threat in Afghanistan. The group has been
blamed for hundreds of attacks, including a 20-hour siege of the U.S.
Embassy and NATO headquarters last month. The group’s is led by
Jalaludin Haqqani, but the ailing leader has relinquished most
operational control to one of his sons, Siraj.

Last week, U.S. officials accused Pakistan’s spy agency of
assisting the Haqqanis in attacks on Western targets in Afghanistan —
the most serious allegation yet of Pakistani duplicity in the 10-year

The United States and other members of the international
community have in the past blamed Pakistan for allowing the Taliban, and
the Haqqanis in particular, to retain safe havens in the country’s
tribal areas along the Afghan border — particularly in North Waziristan.

The outgoing chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Adm. Mike Mullen, has also claimed Pakistan’s military spy agency helped
the group.

However, Haqqani told the BBC Pashtu service that while the
group had contacts with a number of spy agencies, including that of
Pakistan, during the Soviet invasion, he said there are now “no such
links that could be beneficial.”

“Right from the first day of American arrival till this day
not only Pakistani, but other Islamic and other non Islamic countries
including America contacted us and they still doing so, they are asking
us to leave the ranks of Islamic Emirates,” he said referring to the
Taliban leadership.

He said that the outsiders have promised an “important role in the government of Afghanistan,” as well as negotiations.

Haqqani also denied that his group took part in the Sept. 20 assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani.

“We haven’t killed Burhanuddin Rabbani and this has been said many times by the spokespersons of Islamic Emirate,” he said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s office has said a special
commission investigating Rabbani’s death had concluded the attack was
planned in Quetta, the Pakistani city where key Taliban leaders are
based. The delegation also said the primary assailant was a Pakistani

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