The United States has welcomed news that Pakistani authorities plan to outlaw the Haqqani terrorist network and more than 10 other organizations connected to militant groups.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on January 15 the bans were "an important step towards eliminating terrorist activity in Pakistan."
Pakistan's government has not publicly announced the move but Pakistan's "Express Tribune" newspaper reported earlier January 15 that the Haqqani network was among several groups the government will formally outlaw in "coming days."
The Haqqani terrorist network has carried out attacks in neighboring Afghanistan against foreign and government forces using bases in Pakistan's tribal areas. Its leader Jalaluddin Haqqani served as a Taliban minister in the 1990s.
The Pakistani newspaper said the decision was made after the U.S. State Department declared Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist."
Fazlullah has claimed responsibility for the December 16 attack on a Peshawar school that killed some 150 people, mainly schoolchildren.
That attack led Pakistani authorities to step up an offensive started last June against militant groups in the North Waziristan tribal region.
The Pakistani government is also expected to ban the activities of 11 other organizations suspected of aiding the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Kashmiri Islamic militant groups.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Pakistan earlier this week to meet with Pakistani military and security officials for discussions on security and countering terrorism.