President Obama signed the Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act of 2012 into law on Saturday, August 12. The US Secretary of State must now submit a report to Congress within 30 days.
The US House of Representatives and the Senate have both passed bills urging the secretary to declare the Haqqani a terrorist network.
Once a group is placed on the State Department’s FTO list, all US allies are also required to join the fight against the designated group. A failure to do so allows the US administration to declare that country a “state sponsor of terrorism”.
Originating in Afghanistan during the mid-1970s, the Haqqani Network was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan.
The State Department has been studying whether to add the Haqqani network to a list of foreign terrorist organizations. The legislation, first introduced last year by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), forces the Obama administration to add the group to the list of terrorist organizations, or provide a detailed justification to Congress as to why it won’t be added.