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US Cong votes for designating Haqqani network as terror group

The bill requires the State Department to decide whether the Haqqani Network meets the criteria for the designation.

The US Senate has unanimously passed a resolution urging the Obama Administration to designate the dreaded Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organisation.

The resolution comes after the US House of Representatives

passed Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act of 2012 early this month.

The bill,which was passed last year,had to be passed by

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the Senate again because of the changes made in it by the

House.

After Senate’s latest decision to pass the amended House

version by unanimous consent,the bill now heads to the White House for President Barack Obama’s consent to make it a law.

The bill requires the State Department to decide within a

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month whether the Haqqani Network meets the criteria for the designation,in the absence of which the Pakistan-based terror outfit can raise funds in the US.

“This is a significant development,the House and the Senate have now spoken unanimously that the President should

designate the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist

Organization,” said Congressman Mike Rogers,Chairman of

Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

“The Haqqanis are engaged in a reign of terror in Afghanistan and the network poses the single largest threat

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for IED’s our soldiers face in that country. They actively plot and kill US and allied soldiers and routinely harm innocent Afghan civilian men,women and children in their path,” he said.”To better protect the lives of US soldiers,now is the

time for action,not simply paperwork and talk. I applaud the

Senate passage of this important bill,and I urge the

President to sign in quickly into law,” Rogers said,holding

the Haqqani Network responsible for killing and injuring

hundreds of US servicemen and women in Afghanistan.

On May 11,Congressman Rogers,Ranking Member Dutch

Ruppersberger and their Senate counterparts Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss had called on the Obama Administration to designate the Haqqani Network as an FTO.

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On June 2,Rogers,House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,and House Armed Services

Committee Chairman Buck McKeon introduced legislation to

express the sense of Congress that the Haqqani Network be

designated.

Language from the Rogers/Ros-Lehtinen/McKeon bill was

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included in the bill that passed the House on July 17,2012.

An official FTO designation is a critical step allowing

the United States to more aggressively undermine the network’s support.

Haqqani Network,which is linked with Afghan Taliban,has

been also blamed for several attacks against Indian interests.

In one of such deadliest attacks,58 people were killed

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and 141 wounded when Indian embassy was bombed in Kabul in 2008.

The network is also accused of carrying out a truck bomb

attack on a US military base in Wardak province which injured

77 US troops and killed five Afghans,apart from an assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in June 2011,that left 18 people dead.

First published on: 28-07-2012 at 11:00:38 am
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