|History and Biodata
Sirajuddin "Siraj" Haqqani (a.k.a. "Khalifa") was born between 1973 and 1978 in Afghanistan. He is a Pashtun warlord from Jadran tribe and military leader who fights against American and coalition forces from his base within North Waziristan in Pakistan, where it is claimed he provides shelter to Al Qaeda operatives.
His father is Jalaluddin Haqqani, a famous mujahideen and military leader of pro-Taliban forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. His forces have been accused by the coalition forces of carrying out the late-December 2008 bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan at an Afghan elementary school near an Afghan barracks that killed several schoolchildren, an Afghan soldier, and an Afghan guard; no coalition or US personnel were affected.
The son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, Sirajuddin has increasingly taken over the day-to-day operations of the Haqqani Network from its Pakistani tribal base in North Waziristan.
The younger Haqqani belongs to the new generation of Afghan insurgents who are instrumental in transforming the poorly educated largely rural ranks of Taliban fighters into a sophisticated fighting force.
While his father was a leading figure in the anti-Soviet jihad, the young Sirajuddin was not an impressive fighter in his youth, said Brig. Amir Sultan Tarar, a retired ISI officer known as Col. Imam, in a Jan. 2010 interview with The Wall Street Journal.
"The child didn't take part in the war," Tarar told The Wall Street Journal. It wasn't until his early 20s—sometime around 1990—that the younger Haqqani "became an active participant in our struggles," Tarar added.
After the 2001 fall of the Taliban, there were some hopes in US military circles that the senior Haqqani would join the NATO-led operations in Afghanistan. Following the new policy to negotiate with the Taliban, there have been some attempts made to strike a deal with the Haqqani network leadership. But senior US intelligence officials say such talks are much harder under the younger Haqqani’s leadership since he lacks the deep roots and pragmatism of his father.
The younger Haqqani – like other Taliban leaders of his generation such as Mullah Zakir follows a more extremist Islamist ideology. He has also been keen to play down his father’s ties with the CIA.
Despite its distinct origins and its separate links to the outside world, to sponsors in the Gulf region and old allies in Pakistan, which allowed it to retain a certain autonomy of action, the Haqqani network is an integral part of the Taleban movement and not an entity, or even organisation, apart from it. In the broader Taleban movement which is a network of networks, the Haqqanis’ is just one its biggest and certainly its most well-known one.(20120923)