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ISI talks peace with Haqqani network: report

Press Trust Of India
May 18, 2011 at 08:57am IST

New York: Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is trying to convince the insurgent Haqqani network to join Afghan peace talks, media report said.

Officials and tribal elders with ties to the group said that the ISI wants the group to join Afghan peace talks, suggesting that Pakistan was unlikely to heed the US warning that it must act soon, The Wall Street Journal reported.

US wants Pakistan to crackdown on the militant group, which has carried out several attacks in Afghanistan. A tribal elder from North Waziristan, who has contacts with Haqqani's inner circle, said the network has been alarmed by the persistent CIA drone strikes and the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad.

ISI talks peace with Haqqani network: report

US wants Pakistan to crackdown on the militant group, which has carried out several attacks in Afghanistan.

"They may want to talk," the elder was quoted as saying in the report. In an indication that the Haqqanis were worried, their compounds in North Waziristan's capital Miran Shah was emptied out in the days following the raid and killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, the elder said.

The US officials said that the group's chief Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is based in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area, is a potential target for a raid like the one that killed bin Laden.

But US officials said they want to spare Pakistan from the embarrassment caused after the killing of Osama bin Laden, and would rather like Pakistan to get Haqqani.

"If the Pakistanis want to avoid the fallout of any potential revelations, they 'need to get ahead of us on this and show they are willing to work with us'," said a senior US official.

The Haqqanis have not been included in tentative peace talks initiated with the main Taliban leadership headed by Mullah Omar.

"I don't see any evidence that makes me think Haqqani is a guy we're going to want to be talking to," the US official said.

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