PESHAWAR: As per reliable sources among the Afghan Taliban, the Chief of Haqqani militant network and father of Sirajuddin Haqqani, Jalaluddin Haqqani, let us have a review on his life.
Jalaluddin was a mujahedeen leader sponsored by the CIA, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia during the fight against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. He served in the Taliban government after it took power in 1996 following years of civil war.
He is known to have close ties to al Qaeda, and after the fall of the Taliban regime in the 2001 US-led invasion, he joined the insurgency.
In recent years, his son Sirajuddin has taken on increasing leadership within the group from his father, who was born in 1942.
Haqqani was born, the son of a wealthy landowner and trader, in 1939 in the village of Karezgay in the Zadran district of Paktia Province, Afghanistan, though the family later moved to Sultankhel. He is an ethnic Pashtun from the Zadran tribe of Khost.
He undertook advanced religious studies at the Dar-al-‘Ulam Haqqaniya Deobandi seminary in 1964 and was graduated with a doctorate which entitled him to the status of mawlawi in Peshawar in 1970.
After King Zahir Shah’s exile and President Daoud Khan rise to power in 1973, the political situation in Afghanistan was slowly beginning to change. A number of parties such as the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and others were seeking power. Haqqani was one of them, and after being suspected of plotting against the government he went into exile and based himself in and around Miranshah, Pakistan. From there he began to organise a rebellion against the government of Daoud Khan in 1975.
After the 1978 Marxist revolution by the PDPA, Haqqani joined the Hezb-i Islami of Mawlawi Mohammad Yunus Khalis. It was during this time that Haqqani began to build a relationship with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy network.
When American troops arrived after the 9/11 attacks, Haqqani sought refuge in Pakistan’s tribal district of North Waziristan and became one of the first anti-US commanders based in the border areas.
Jalaluddin had set up a base in North Waziristan following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, under which he was the minister for border affairs. He used his North Waziristan base to direct the Haqqani network’s operations. The group is accused of being behind some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan.
He reportedly had training bases in eastern Afghanistan and was close to Al-Qaeda. His fighters are known to be active across east and southeast Afghanistan and in the capital Kabul.
The network is militarily the most capable of the Afghan Taliban factions and operates independently but remains loyal to Mullah Omar.
Unidentified gunmen attacked and killed Nasiruddin Haqqani, the group’s chief fundraiser and another son of its founder, on the edge of Islamabad in 2013.
Due to his ailment, the militant ‘commander’ had handed over operational command of the Haqqani network to his son, Sirajuddin.
Jalaluddin was also on the UN Sanctions list since January 31, 2001. The provisions of the UNSC resolutions 1267 (1999), and 1333 (2000) applied to him, which, among other things, bar the international travel of listed individuals and prevent any assistance to them.