NATO to continue military pressure on Haqqani network


Brussels: The NATO will continue applying pressure on the Haqqani network and stop it from launching attacks on the alliance’s soldiers and on the Afghan population, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday.

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The Haqqani network is a Taliban-affiliated group that operates from Pakistan’s North Waziristan region. The network has been at the forefront of insurgent activity in Afghanistan, responsible for many high-profile attacks, according to the US State Department.

“We will keep the Haqqani network under severe military pressure. It is the best way to ensure that the insurgent and the terrorist networks realise that they need to go to the negotiating table and find peaceful solutions to the conflict in Afghanistan,” Fogh Rasmussen was quoted as saying by EuAsiaNews.

Fogh Rasmussen said despite the violence in Afghanistan, NATO was moving in the right direction.

“Enemy attacks were down 26 percent from July to September this year, compared to the same period last year. In Helmand, attacks have decreased by 30 percent, in some districts by 80 percent,” he said.

The NATO chief said the transition process to hand over security to Afghan forces was on track.

“We have passed a new milestone in our training of the Afghan security forces. Our target for October was to have 306,000 Afghan soldiers and police trained, and we did it,” he said.

NATO has some 130,000 troops in Afghanistan. It started this year handing over security responsibility to Afghan forces. The process is expected to be completed by 2014.