The administration of US President Barack Obama is reportedly considering blacklisting major Taliban factions, a move aimed at undermining groups linked closely to Al-Qaeda, but which could also jeopardize Afghan President Hamid Karzai's efforts to reconcile with Afghan insurgent leaders based in neighboring Pakistan.
General David Petraeus, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, discussed the idea of blacklisting the Haqqani network with senior administration officials last week, according to "The New York Times." Senator Carl Levin (Democrat, Michigan), meanwhile, called on the State Department on July 13 to also place the Quetta Shura, the Taliban's leadership council, led by Mullah Mohammad Omar, on its list of terrorist organizations.
Sirajuddin Haqqani currently leads the network founded by his father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former Taliban minister and anti-Soviet commander in the 1980s. The network has a reputation for being ruthless, and is accused of being behind many of the most high-profile attacks in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
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RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent Asmatullah Sarwan contributed reporting to this article