The detention of Nasiruddin Haqqani, the high-profile Afghan jihadi, by the Pakistani intelligence could have been foretold. Its significance lies in its timing. Nasiruddin who frequently darts in and out of Pakistan under false passports to the Gulf region on fund-raising missions could have been nabbed anytime in the recent years. So, why now? He was picked up as he was returning to the fastness of North Waziristan from Saudi Arabia. Is this a Saudi-Pak enterprise?
Prima facie, Pakistani military is flagging its determination to “do more” in the war. The US just defrayed Rawalpindi a princely sum of 600 million dollars for its cooperation. But Nasiruddin is big fish - Jalaluddin’s son, Sirajuddin’s half-brother. You don’t mess around with a Haqqani if you don’t mean deadly business. He might know where Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts. Is someone in Pakistan baiting Barack Obama’s White House? After all, CNN broke the news - on Christmas eve. i wish I could be a fly on the wall if the CIA station chief in Pakistan gets around to interviewing Nasiruddin.
No, that won’t happen easily. ISI is a many-splendoured thing. The big question is, what has it got to do with peace talks? Washington has an increasingly open mind. In the 14-page note personally handed over by Army chief Ashfaq Kayani to Obama, Pakistan for the first time put on paper its legitimate interests. Kayani sounded eminently reasonable. Now, the ball is in Obama’s court. A beginning needs to be made somewhere. Nasiruddin can bring the US into proximity with Haqqanis. As I wrote in my earlier blog, Pakistan is dropping hints that Haqqani would be willing to disengage from al-Qaeda.
A dicey moment, indeed. The snow has fallen, passes are closed and the fighting season is over. An ideal time to quietly talk about some peace. Nasiruddin’s mother, incidentally, is an Arab woman from the UAE.
Posted in Terrorism.
– December 26, 2010