PESHAWAR: The Haqqani network, considered the most lethal insurgent faction in Afghanistan, would take part in peace talks with the United States but only under the direction of their Afghan Taliban leaders, a top faction commander said on Tuesday.
The commander, speaking to Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location, also said the group would keep up pressure on Western forces with high-profile attacks.
The Haqqanis, who operate out of the unruly border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, say they are part of the Afghan Taliban and must act in unison in any peace process.
The commander, who declined to be identified, accused the United States of being insincere in peace efforts and trying to divide the two organisations.
“However, if the central shura, headed by Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, decided to hold talks with the United States, we would welcome it,” he said, referring to the militants' leadership council.