Earlier this month, the Taliban announced that Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder, and leader of the feared Haqqani Network terror group, had died.
The Haqqani Network is a militant outfit fighting against the Afghan state and the U.S.-led forces that support it. It is a particularly potent faction of the Afghan Taliban.
Jalaluddin Haqqani was once a leader of the mujahideen fighters targeting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, before eventually turning his attention to the U.S.-led NATO forces that entered the country in 2001. Today, Washington regards the Haqqani Network as one of the greatest militant threats in the country where it has fought a 17-year war.
In this first edition of the AfPak File, a new podcast series jointly hosted by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Woodrow Wilson Center, a group of experts discusses what impact Haqqani’s death may have on the Haqqani Network and on the war in Afghanistan; what we know about the Haqqani Network’s numbers and location; what role it plays in the insurgency in Afghanistan; what its relationship is with Pakistan; how it may figure in a potential peace process in Afghanistan; and how it affects the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
The guests were Sahar Khan, visiting research fellow at the Cato Institute; Daud Khattak, reporter and editor with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Maashal; Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center; and Haroun Mir, a founder of the Center for Research and Policy Studies in Kabul. The podcast was moderated by Mohammad Tahir, media manager for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.