Karzai denies meeting Haqqani, General Petraeus says

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning, General David Petraeus told Senator Carl Levin that Afghan President Hamid Karzai denies reports that he recently met with a leader of the Haqqani Network.

This past weekend, Al Jazeera reported that Karzai met with Siraj Haqqani, who leads the Taliban- and al Qaeda-affiliated network in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to discuss a power-sharing agreement. The meeting was reportedly orchestrated by Pakistani intelligence and army officials, who have long supported the Haqqani Network. [See LWJ report: “Afghan president meets with Siraj Haqqani: Report.”]

The Al Jazeera account followed several other press accounts saying that Pakistani officials were indeed trying to broker a deal between the Afghan government and Haqqani.

However, Petraeus explained today that Karzai personally assured him, while Petraeus was en route to the confirmation hearing this morning, that the meeting with Siraj Haqqani or any other senior Haqqani leader did not take place.

Of course, Karzai would have little incentive to admit that such a meeting took place, if in fact it did. But US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal also cast doubt on the Al Jazeera report.

These officials do not dispute press reports saying that the Pakistanis are attempting to broker a deal between Haqqani and the Afghan government. Instead, they disputed the notion that Karzai could have met with Haqqani in a face-to-face meeting. One senior intelligence official pointed to Karzai’s heavy American security detail as an obstacle to such a meeting.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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7 Comments

  • Atiyyatullah says:

    The history of Karzai’s credibility is much like the history of a set of candles on a birthday cake. Right now he is on that final trick candle and the assaults on his ethos are still playing around with it even though they know it is a facade. If Karzai is still in office when this is exposed as a ploy by the Pakistanis that he simply went along with due to its convenience, then that would be the metaphorical saliva covered fingertip that puts out the candle once and for all.

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    Iam almost %100 sure our intel people know EVERYTHING Karzai does. He’s probably being watched 24/7 by US intel agencies. I dislike this man intensely. How many BILLIONS leave that country every week? WHERE is the $$ coming from? We are being fleeced by this power drunk crook. His whole family. Anybody see something amiss here?

  • kp says:

    I can just imagine Karzai meeting with Haqqani and his American security detail realizing what’s going on. A brief firefight ensues.

    As I mentioned on the blog comments this report of a F2F doesn’t make sense on security grounds. I don’t see an electronic meeting either. His minions could have met with Haqqani’s minions with the ISI present but that would be a dangerous option too (and both sides know it). Ultimately, how does Siraj know he’s not being set up?

  • TMP says:

    This F2F meeting did not happen. No way in hell does S. Haqqani allow his OODA loop to be directly entered. This leak is to serve another purpose…
    And so it goes…

  • T Ruth says:

    TMP any thoughts what that other purpose might be, in context of it coming from al-jaz? Wonder if it was some kind of trial balloon by Pak?

  • zarin says:

    I remember the days when Karzai was kissing the hand of Haqqani. Now I do believe and for Karzai it is easy to meet and kiss his hands again. Afghsns are in large one in attitude and US is standing on a very week stem which can break any time.

  • BaoLoc says:

    “I can just imagine Karzai meeting with Haqqani and his American security detail realizing what’s going on. A brief firefight ensues.
    As I mentioned on the blog comments this report of a F2F doesn’t make sense on security grounds. I don’t see an electronic meeting either. His minions could have met with Haqqani’s minions with the ISI present but that would be a dangerous option too (and both sides know it). Ultimately, how does Siraj know he’s not being set up?”

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