Afghan delegation in Pak for info on Rabbani killing

The nine-member delegation is headed by Hesamuddin Hesam, Deputy Director of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence agency.

Last Updated: Nov 22, 2011, 23:44 PM IST

Islamabad: An Afghan delegation arrived in
the federal capital on Tuesday to share information with Pakistani
officials on the assassination of Afghan peace envoy
Burhanuddin Rabbani, diplomatic sources said.

The nine-member delegation is headed by Hesamuddin Hesam,
Deputy Director of the National Directorate of Security, the
Afghan intelligence agency.

The team includes senior officials from the ministries of
defence and interior and the NDS, the sources said.

The Afghan officials will begin talks with their
Pakistani counterparts tomorrow to share ‘intelligence’ on
Rabbani`s assassination by a Taliban suicide bomber.

The delegation will stay in Pakistan for two days.
The delegation was earlier scheduled to travel to
Pakistan in October but Islamabad’s objections over the
constitution of the panel delayed the visit, the sources said.

Rabbani was killed by a suicide bomber at his residence
in Kabul on September 20.

The attacker met the former Afghan President in the guise
of a Taliban messenger.

The Taliban initially claimed responsibility for the
murder but later denied reports of their claim.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai had announced that he
intended to send members of an inquiry commission to Islamabad
to seek "help from Pakistani brothers" in the investigation.

Pakistan agreed to receive the delegation during a
trilateral summit in Turkey earlier this month, sources said.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Karzai had met on the
sidelines of the summit in Istanbul. Afghanistan has formed an
inquiry commission headed by Defence Minister Gen Abdul Rahim
Wardak to probe Rabbani`s killing.

Earlier, Interior Minister Bismillah Muhammadi and
several Afghan intelligence officials had alleged that
Pakistani security agencies were involved in the plot to kill
Rabbani.

They further alleged the plot was hatched by the Afghan
Taliban in Quetta city in southwestern Pakistan. Pakistan
rejected these charges as baseless and said it would cooperate
in any probe by Afghan authorities.

Last month, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani offered to
share intelligence in the investigation into the
assassination. Some Afghan officials have warned they will
approach the United Nations if Pakistan does not cooperate in
investigation.

After tremendous pressure from the Afghan opposition,
President Karzai severed all contacts with the Taliban in the
wake of Rabbani`s assassination.

He said the Afghan government would hold direct talks
with Pakistan as a "representative" of the Taliban. He also
said he would talk to Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar if he
could be located.

PTI