Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Increase the Strikes Against Haqqanis

The latest drone strikes in Pakistan's lawless North Waziristan have targeted prominent members of the Haqqani Network. The CIA drone strikes have previously avoided targeting Miran Shah, the capital of notorious terrorist hub - North Waziristan. But the recent strikes in the area, contrary to the fears, not caused civilian casualties, but surprisingly killing important commanders of the Haqqani Network.

These attacks are not based on the regular intelligence sharing between the US and Pakistani intelligence agencies and cooperation, which is in a deadlock but the arrest of a senior Haqqani Network commander, Mali Khan, who was arrested by NATO in Afghanistan recently. His arrest has led to the drone strikes that killed Jan Baz Zadran, another important commander. His death is a blow to the Network.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the decision to strike Miran Shah was made at the US National Security Council ordered by President Obama. The report said it was aimed at sending a signal to Pakistan that the United States can no longer tolerate safe haven or backing of the Haqqani Network in Waziristan.

The meeting held two weeks ago, also discussed a possible US raid in Waziristan to attack Haqqani Network elements. It will surely stir extreme reaction from Pakistani military, but the Obama Administration has reportedly put down three options for Rawalpindi.

They are; kill the Haqqani Network commanders, help the US to kill them, or persuade them for negotiations and join the Afghan government in a peaceful way. So far, there has not been any response from Pakistan.

And the recent attacks are not result of cooperation, but the intelligence extracted from Mali Khan. It is yet to be demonstrated by Pakistan, which option they will follow. The recent drone strikes have proved that the Haqqani Network is not such a big snake, but matter of some accurate intelligence and drone strikes. Similarly, it should also send a message to the Quetta Shura that they are better to grab the opportunity and join the peace process through negotiations.

A couple of months ago, Pakistani officials [military] had offered the US to persuade Haqqani Network for talks. It's the best time to make the business clear with the US on this, or help drone strikes against the Haqqanis. CIA should extract more intelligence about Miran Shah. A few more successful drone strikes can root out the entire leadership and structure of Haqqani Network, and then remains the Quetta Shura, who could be dealt easier. Unless there is a serious military pressure on militants, the one-sided peace adventures will not result.