By DECLAN WALSH and ERIC SCHMITT
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistani officials reacted cautiously on Friday to news that the United States had designated the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network as a terrorist group, allaying fears that the move could drive a fresh wedge between the two uneasy allies.
The designation order, signed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Brunei before heading to Russia for a conference, ended two years of debate inside the Obama administration about the merits of formally ostracizing a powerful element of the Afghan insurgency that American officials say has uncomfortably close ties to Pakistan.
Within hours of the designation, American officials in Washington were seeking to play down worries that it could stymie peace talks with the Taliban or lead to the designation of Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
In the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, the designation received a studiously muted reception.