The United States on Friday designated Pakistan-based dreaded Haqqani network as a terrorist group, a move that could degrade the organisation's ability to execute violent attacks and pressurise Islamabad [ Images ] to act militarily against the outfit.
The move could further damage the already frail bilateral ties between the US and Pakistan.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [ Images ] formally designated the militant network as terrorist organisation in a report to the Congress on Friday.
Announcing the decision, Clinton said, "I have sent a report to Congress saying that the Haqqani Network meets the statutory criteria of the Immigration and Nationality Act for designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation."
"Based on that assessment, I notified Congress of my intent to designate the Haqqani Network as an FTO under the INA. I also intend to designate the organisation as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity."
She and other administration officials "had already discussed the issue with their counterparts in Pakistan, and the administration's special envoy, Marc Grossman, is expected to formally inform Pakistan's leaders on Friday," the New York Times said in a report.
State Department officials would also begin notifying senior lawmakers.
Clinton said the consequences of these designations include a prohibition against knowingly providing material support or resources to, or engaging in other transactions with, the Haqqani Network, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organisation that are in the US.
"We also continue our robust campaign of diplomatic, military, and intelligence pressure on the network, demonstrating the United States' resolve to degrade the organisation's ability to execute violent attacks," Clinton said.
She said the US would continue to work with both Afghanistan and Pakistan to move these efforts forward and build a more peaceful and secure future.