Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. has spoken with representatives of the Islamic militant Haqqani network, which has been carrying out attacks on Americans in Afghanistan.
Clinton, speaking in Pakistan today, said there was one meeting with the Haqqani network. It was held a few months ago, prior to attacks on the Intercontinental Hotel and the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, that the U.S. says were carried out by the Haqqanis, operating from Pakistan.
“We have reached out to the Taliban, we have reached out to the Haqqani network, to test their willingness and their sincerity,” Clinton said. “We don’t know whether this will work. But we believe strongly that we must try it.”
The desire for talks doesn’t mean that U.S. forces will stop hunting down the militants. “In order to get to the talking, we have to be fighting,” she said.
Clinton spoke publicly following closed-door discussions between top U.S. officials, also including Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus and the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, General Martin Dempsey, and Pakistan’s leadership including Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the chief of army staff, and Ahmad Shuja Pasha, head of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.