A key leader of this faction, Sirajuddin Haqqani, had earlier told the BBC that the US had approached him about joining the Afghan government.
The US State Department, when asked to comment on the reports, said any group which wanted to engage with the US in Afghanistan must give up violence and should be willing to work with the Afghan government.
“We insist, as do the Afghans, that anybody who is reconciled or who is pursuing reconciliation has to renounce violence,” said State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland when asked to comment on the reported contact with the Haqqani group.
“They have to abandon their ties, cut their ties with Al Qaeda, they have to abide by the laws and the constitution of Afghanistan, including respecting the rights of women and ethnic minorities,” she added.
“Now, I`m not going to talk about any specifics and meetings and this and that. Within that umbrella this is an Afghan-led process,” said the US official when a journalist asked her to confirm or deny if Washington had held talks with the Haqqanis.
“I will say to you, again, what we`ve been saying for some two weeks very firmly with regard to the Haqqani network. Job one in our relationship with Pakistan is for us to work on the terror and the problem that they are posing to Pakistan, to the US, to Afghanistan,” she added.
“If a person had been or were a member of the Haqqani network but then renounced violence and met the criteria that you`ve had for now quite a long time, they might be able to be part of reconciliation?” asked a journalist. “Again, these are the Afghans` criteria, these are our criteria, but I`m not going to comment on any specific conversations that are going on under that umbrella. But those are the criteria that we require, yes, and the Afghans require,” said the US official.
Earlier Wednesday, the US media reported that American officials had secretly met leaders of the Haqqani network during this summer, despite their reservations about the group`s link to Al Qaeda. Read more at Dawn.com