Sep 17, 2011 1
After the recent Reuters interview with Siraj Haqqani, I shuffled through my archives to see if there is anything new in what he said. Below are a excerpts of a few interviews I did with him in 2010. You’ll see he covers similar ground. The Haqqanis are quite pragmatic and have an established track record of exhibiting openness to a deal, although for legitimacy purposes it seems unlikely that such a development would come independently of the Quetta Shura Taliban.
Haqqani has been reticent in the last year–largely because, his people explain to me, of the fear of drone attacks. In fact, if I’m not mistaken this is the first time he has publicly surfaced in over a year. That it comes in the midst of heightened US accusations against the Pakistanis is probably not an accident: Islamabad has for some time been promoting the Haqqanis as responsible interlocutors in a potential peace process.
Your father worked with the U.S to defeat the Soviets. Is there any way you could talk with or work with the Americans to bring peace to Afghanistan?
At that time my father didn’t have a personal relationship with Americans. Back then the whole international community was supporting the Afghan Jihad, including Western and Arab countries. Also back then the Afghan freedom fighters were relying more on the assistance and aid of Islamic countries rather than Western countries. Like today, during the Soviet era the Mujahidin were fighting an occupying force and believed that foreign forces are the only obstacle which prevents peace and stability in Afghanistan. This is why we wanted the immediate withdrawal of the occupying forces. Today too the withdrawal of the occupying forces is one of our main demands. Once the occupying forces leave Afghanistan the fighting will end and peace and stability will be restored.