In this August 22, 1998 file photo, Jalaluddin Haqqani speaks during an interview. — Photo by AP

KABUL: The Taliban took the unusual step Tuesday of insisting that it, not Pakistan, controls the Haqqani network, with Islamabad under growing US pressure to cut alleged ties with the group.

The militia advised Pakistan to prioritise “Islamic and national” interests and stand firm in the face of “America's two-faced and implacable politics”.

“Neither are our bases in Pakistan nor do we need residence outside of our country,” said the English-language statement in the name of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan —the Taliban's name for itself —on its Voice of Jihad website.

“All the military and civilian activities in the country are our own initiatives and our own actions.

“The respected Maulawi Jalaluddin Haqqani (the group's founder) is (one of the) Islamic Emirate's honourable and dignified personalities and receives all guidance for operations from the leader of the Islamic Emirate.”

Most analysts consider the Haqqani network a powerful Taliban faction loyal to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar, with strong ties to al Qaeda.

“Our advice to the people of Pakistan and its government is that it should deliberate on America's two-faced and implacable politics,” said the Taliban.

“It should always give precedence to its Islamic and national interests and they should have a firm belief that America will never be happy with them until they loot all their material and moral assets.”

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