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Haqqani network blamed for bombing has moved to Afghanistan, claims envoy


Washington, June 3 (IANS) Pakistan’s envoy to the US has said the Haqqani network, blamed for Wednesday’s massive bombing in Kabul, has moved to Afghanistan and Afghan officials should focus on tackling the militants within their territory instead of blaming Pakistan.

Aizaz Chaudhary, in an interview to the Washington Times, published by Dawn, rejected Kabul’s claim that a Pakistan-based terror group was responsible for the bombing that killed 100 persons and wounded more than 400.

The Pakistani Ambassador rejected the Afghan allegations as baseless.

Afghan intelligence officials have said that a suicide bomber from the Haqqani network had detonated an explosives-laden sewage tanker in Kabul’s diplomatic enclave near the German embassy on Wednesday.

The Afghan National Directorate of Security also claimed that the Haqqani network enjoyed Pakistan’s support and was still operating from its hideouts in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). The US media also carried the allegations.

Chaudhary said Pakistan had carried out large-scale counterterrorism offensive in North Waziristan and other tribal areas, uprooting all terror groups hiding there.

The Haqqani network “is on the run, as far as we are concerned”, Chaudhry said. “They have moved into Afghanistan and need to be taken care of there.”

He also said that “scapegoating Pakistan for failures in Afghanistan will not help” improve the security situation in either country. “It is too simplistic to say all of these (problems) are because of Pakistan…,” he added.

“It is outright barbaric terrorism, and we should condemn it with all the might that we have,” he said. The attack should serve to “strengthen our resolve” to work with Kabul on counterterrorism operations, he added.

Chaudhary pointed out that only Afghan intelligence officials had linked the Haqqanis to Wednesday’s blast, and the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was yet to endorse the findings.

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