Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is considering the issue of slapping sanctions against Pakistan-based Haqqani network and designate it as a terrorist group after strong appeals by Congress, her spokesperson said.
“We share the grave concern of the Congress with regard to the activities of the Haqqani network,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said yesterday. Secretary Clinton is “considering right now and reviewing the issue,” she said when asked about a law signed on Friday by President Barack Obama that gave 30 days to Clinton to determine if the Haqqani network meets the criteria of a terrorist group.
The law was approved with overwhelming support of both Republican and Democrat parties in Congress. The Haqqani network is linked to Afghan Taliban and is accused of carrying out a number of attacks against American and Indian interests in Afghanistan.
“We have both State and Treasury, designated a number of individuals within the network. As you said, the President has signed the piece of legislation, the Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act of 2012. He signed it last Friday,” she said.
“The act gives the Secretary 30 days to report on the Haqqani Network, so that clock has just started ticking, and we’ll let you know when we have something to say,” she said. But this does not mean that Haqqani network would be designated as a foreign terrorist organization within this 30 days, she clarified.
“She has a reporting requirement to Congress, and I’m confident she won’t miss a reporting requirement to Congress,” she said.
“We have grave concerns about the threat that they pose inside Pakistan and the threat that they pose across the border,” Nuland said.