U.S.-Pakistan relations

Is this the end of the affair?

Dan Twining

A senior U.S. official — Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — has publicly fingered the Haqqani network as a tool of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. What’s surprising is that this is particularly newsworthy: ISI’s relationship with the Haqqanis has been an open secret for years. What’s different, of course, is that the latest Haqqani attack was not on American forces deployed in Afghanistan but on the U.S. embassy in Kabul — and that the U.S. government possesses unambiguous evidence of official Pakistani complicity in last week’s assault.

In addition to killing American and allied soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and targeting American diplomats in Kabul, Haqqani forces have for years targeted Indian assets in Afghanistan, including several deadly assaults on the Indian embassy in Kabul. Skeptics of Pakistani denials of official complicity have long noted that the Haqqani network, based in North Waziristan, has never attacked an official target in Pakistan – further evidence of its collusive relationship with that country’s security services.

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