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Fact-Check: Pakistan PM Imran Khan makes a false statement about UN designated terror organisation Haqqani Network, calling it a tribe

On September 15,2021, Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan sat down for an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson. In this interview Khan continued to criticize the lack of understanding displayed by the US government when dealing with the crisis in Afghanistan. He also questioned the US intelligence services.

The interviewer, Becky Anderson then asked him about the role of Haqqani Network in the massacres of Afghanistan and the comments made by US Officials that the Haqqani Network has been an integral part of Pakistan’s intelligence.

Khan then proceeds to call the Haqqani Network a “Pashtun tribe living in Afghanistan”.

What is the Haqqani Network?

UNSC listed the Haqqani Network in ‘88 Sanctions List, as financial and strategic partners of the Taliban and a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan. Four members of the Haqqani Network are now a part of the interim Taliban government.

The name Haqqani is borrowed from the members’ former affiliation with Darul Uloom Haqqania, a madrasa in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which was set to receive Rs 227 million from the government in 2018.

Jalaludin Haqqani, founder of the Haqqani Network, was a student at this madrasa and borrowed the name from here.


This statement made by Khan sparked interest of various historians and journalists who took to social media to verify the claim.

Renowned journalist Hamid Mir fact checked Khan’s claim by stating that all the students of the madrasa were called Haqqanis.

Ihsaanullah Tipu Mehsud, an Afghan journalist working for the New York times also found a source of Jalaludin Haqqani’s origins and as it turns out, he was from the Zadran Tribe.

Now that we have established that the Haqqani Network’s leader borrowed the name of the network from the madrasa he was studying at and the fact the he belonged to the Zadran Tribe and definitely not the Pashtun tribe, we can therefore conclude that the statement made by Imran Khan is ill-informed and false.