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PR Editorials

Af-Pak: Drones return to target the Huqqani Network


Photo: The News


According to news reports from Pakistan, over the last two days, there were three US drone attacks on the Af-Pak border regions, killing more than 30 people.

It should be more than a coincidence that there were three drone attacks following the US delegation meeting Pakistani officials a week earlier in Islamabad, and the Afghan Quadrilateral Contact Group (QCG) resuming after a year.

Obviously, the issue of drone attacks should have been discussed in the meetings. Did Pakistan also share some intelligence regarding the militant hideouts and movement, as a quid pro quo? 

According to a media report, the drones targeted the hideouts belonging to the militants of JuA and the Huqqani network. It is not clear, whether those who got killed were the foot soldiers or leaders of any importance. Quoting Taliban sources, the report mentioned that 18 members of the Haqqani militants were killed, but “no prominent militants were in the area when the drones targeted two or three different compounds” - mud-built houses used by the mujahideen.

It is also not clear whether the attacks on both days took place on the Afghan side of the border, or the Pakistani side. Official Pakistani reports for political reasons would like to deny that the attacks took place in the FATA region in Pakistan. But, what is clear is the resumption of drone attacks, and the militants belonging to the Huqqani network getting targeted. 

Is Pakistan yielding to the American pressure on the Huqqani network? Or, is Pakistan playing another dirty trick, by providing intelligence on the foot soldiers of the Huqqani network and deflect the criticism that the latter is a “veritable arm” of the former?

 


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