Friday, 16 November, 2018

Afghan militant leader Jalaluddin Haqqani dies

Jalaluddin Haqqani the Afghan founder of the militant Haqqani network,died after a long illness Jalaluddin Haqqani the Afghan founder of the militant Haqqani network,died after a long illness Credit AFP
Gerardo Duncan | 07 September, 2018, 13:16

The Taliban militant group on Tuesday announced that Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder of one Afghanistan's most feared militant groups the Haqqani Network, died on Monday at the age of 79 years after a long illness.

"Haqqani had become quite old and was suffering from different health problems", said one Taliban source close to the Haqqani family.

After announcing his death, Mujahid said that the leader was one of the instrumental figures in keeping the Taliban together for years after the former leader Mullah Omar had died.

This group of Haqqani members had been involved in terrorist activities, the planting of mines, assassination of government officials and of influence people, the statement said.

The groups is now based in Pakistan's North Waziristan region. "His death of Jalaluddin Haqqani will not have any effect on the devious activities of the HQN".

Haqqani is believed to have studied in the Dar al-Ulum Haqqaniyaa madrassa in Pakistan, which is widely known for its links to the Taliban. Three years later, Pakistan also banned the Haqqani network as part of its National Action Plan.

The group has also carried out kidnappings and attacks against USA interests in Afghanistan and has been accused of engaging in beheadings, the killing of women and assassinations.

Prior to the USA invasion, Haqqani fostered close ties with Arab extremists, including the now-deceased Al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, who set up militant camps in Afghanistan before being run out of the country into hiding in Pakistan by US -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces. Responsibility for steering the operations of the network used to be transferred from Haqqani, aging and reportedly ailing, to his son Sirajuddin.

The Pakistan-based Haqqani network, which also operates in Afghanistan, has been blamed for a number of high-profile suicide attacks and violence. That cable also said Haqqani "is close buddies with many Arab and Pakistani Islamists". Later, Jalaluddin became a minister in the Taliban regime.

It added that Haqqani was ill and bed-ridden for the past few years.

His group became notorious for complex, well-organised attacks on both Afghan and US military, as well as civilian targets and high-profile kidnappings.

Analysts say Pakistan appears to view the Haqqanis and more broadly the Afghan Taliban as an asset holding India at bay in Afghanistan.

With Sirajuddin firmly in charge, Jalaluddin's death may not have much strategic impact on the network's operations.

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