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Imran Khan’s defence of the Haqqani network sets social media on fire

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of Haqqani Network

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is again being trolled on social media and this time for his comments on the dreaded terrorist organisation, the  Haqqani Network (HQN). In an interview with CNN, when Khan was asked whether the  Haqqani Network was an arm of the Pakistani Inter-State agency (ISI), he  fumbled. In his unconvincing reply he said that  that Haqqanis belong to a  Pashtun tribe of Afghanistan and the surname “Haqqani” is very common in the country.

“Haqqani is a tribe, Pashtun tribe, living in Afghanistan. 40 yrs. ago when Jihad took place against the Soviet, Pakistan had 5 million of refugees and among them were few Haqqanis who were Mujahideen fighting the war,” Khan observed. .

Khan went on saying that even the CIA has been in touch with these organisations but did not answer about the link between the ISI and Pakistani army and the Haqqani Network. But he admitted that Pakistan has been providing all support including providing shelters, training to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other militant groups.

"We (Pakistan) were like a hired gun," Khan said. "We were supposed to make them (the US) win the war in Afghanistan, which we never could,” Khan told CNN.

But netizens scoffed at Khan’s replies. The former Pakistani ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani, who himself is a Haqqani, said that the members of Haqqani network are not Haqqani but, instead, belong to the  “Jadran clan”. The founder of the HQN, Jallaluddin who was among the first graduates of the Darul Uloom Haqqania, the Islamic seminary known  as the “university of jihad”, from where he derived his Haqqani surname

“If Jalaluddin Haqqani is from Haqqani Tribe then Imran Khan is from Aitchison and Oxford Tribes. Jalaluddin and his sons get the name Haqqani from attending the Haqqania Madrasa in Akora Khattak, near Nowshera in Pakistan’s KP province,” he tweeted.

He also clarified about his Haqqani surname.

“My surname comes from the Haqqani family of Delhi. The Pashtun Haqqanis get their name from studying at Darul Uloom Haqqania in Akora Khattak (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan). Jalaluddin and his family are from Zadran Tribe. There is no Haqqani tribe among Pashtuns. My most prominent ancestor was Maulana Abu Muhammad Abdul Haq Haqqani Mufassir Dehlavi, a theologian of distinction buried near the tomb of Sufi saint Hazrat Baqi Billah in old Delhi. He authored Tafsir-e-Haqqani & several other treatises on theology.”

Taking a shot at Imran Khan, BBC journalist Sana Safi wrote:  “Just so we understand correctly, is PM Imran Khan (a Pashtun & a Niazi by tribe) telling us that Pakistan’s security forces couldn’t differentiate between the Haqqani tribe & Haqqani Network.”

There are at least six ministers in the newly formed Taliban government who are directly associated with the most dreaded UN designated terror organisation HQN in Afghanistan. Chief of the terrorist organisation Sirajuddin Haqqani who is the Interior Minister of Afghanistan has a bounty of USD 10 million on his head. His uncle Khalil-ur-Rahman, Minister of Refugee carries the reward of USD 5 million.

Also Read: Pak ISI mocks at UN — installs Haqqani network terrorists in key positions in Afghanistan

The relation between ISI, Haqqani Network is well documented. It is now an open secret how the ISI made sure that Haqqanis, not Mullah Baradar and his team, got the lion's share in the newly formed Taliban government. Today, the group is favourite of the ISI, which considers the Haqqani Network an asset which helps Pakistan  expand its influence in Afghanistan, as well  counter India  in that country. The partnership between the ISI and the HQN is mutually beneficial. The HQN  influence in Afghanistan is of key strategic importance to Pakistan as it helps assure Pakistan’s influence across the border and serves as a proxy for defending the state’s interests in tribal conflicts.

Also Read: Haqqani empire feeding on extortion, kidnapping, drug trafficking and real estate steers Taliban government in Afghanistan

Feigning disengagement from Afghanistan, Khan told CNN that he cannot destroy his country to "fight someone else's war."

"The Afghan Taliban weren't attacking us. I wish if I was in government. I would have told the US that we are not going to take them on militarily because first, we have to serve the people. My responsibility would have been to the people of my country," Khan said.