Taliban: 'We're Too Busy in Afghanistan' to Work with Pakistan

Militant leader's son denies links to Pakistan's Intelligence Services.

ByABC News
July 31, 2008, 2:35 PM

July 31, 2008&#151;<p></p> ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The son of the most notorious mujahedeen-turned Taliban military leader is denying the CIA's claim that the Pakistani intelligence agency is working with the Taliban to destabilize Afghanistan.

"Afghan mujahedeen are so busy in their war against the westerners, that they don't have the time or the need to go to Pakistan. If we ever needed or hoped for the government's cooperation, then we would have done this. We have neither the hope nor the need," Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of Taliban commander Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, told ABC News in an interview.

"We in Afghanistan, by the grace of God, don't need them. Our needs in Afghanistan are fulfilled. We are self-sufficient in Afghanistan," the younger Haqqani told ABC News consultant Rahimullah Yusufzai in Khost, Afghanistan, just across the border from Pakistan.

The Haqqani network is one of the most notorious of the militant groups that the U.S. believes is attacking forces in Afghanistan. Haqqani himself was one of the CIA's favorite mujahedeen leaders during the war with the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, at one point capturing Khost, the city where the interview with his son took place.

Today, officials say his network is behind some of the largest attacks in Afghanistan in the last year, including the storming of the Serena Hotel and an assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The networks, U.S. officials believe, give the Taliban more resources and greater sophistication in their targeting of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Sirajuddin Haqqani echoed those fears in the interview.

"It's beyond count," he said when asked how many fighters were loyal to him and his father. "Now tribes have arisen. When we tell them we want 1,000 people, they send 1,000 people. When we ask for 100, they send 100. Now, it's beyond count. It's on a big scale."

But despite those resources, he claimed there is no Taliban campaign being waged in Pakistan. "Our brothers mujahedeen in Pakistan, we have a spiritual relationship with them. But we do not interfere in their internal affairs. Our policy is clear. All our attention is on Afghanistan."