Afghan team to Pakistan in Rabbani probe: Official

Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated by a turban bomber at his Kabul home in September.

Kabul: Afghanistan is sending an official delegation to Pakistan "soon" to investigate the killing of Kabul`s peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani, a presidential spokesman said on Monday.

Pakistan has agreed to accept the delegation, spokesman Aimal Faizi told reporters, adding that it could leave as early as Tuesday.

Rabbani was assassinated by a turban bomber at his Kabul home in September in a move which stalled efforts to talk peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials say the killing was planned in Pakistan and carried out by a Pakistani suicide bomber. They have also previously accused Pakistan of refusing to cooperate in the probe.

But at a conference in Istanbul earlier this month, the two sides agreed to cooperate on an investigation into the killing.

"The government of Afghanistan, in order to further investigate the assassination of professor Burhanuddin Rabbani... will soon send a delegation to Pakistan. Pakistan has accepted to receive the delegation," Faizi said.

"After the pressures that Afghanistan and Turkey put on Pakistan at the Istanbul conference, Pakistan finally agreed to accept our delegation."

The delegation will feature officials from Afghanistan`s defence and interior ministries, plus its intelligence service.

The Afghan team`s visit was confirmed by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry which said a date was being worked out.

"We had offered assistance when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani went to Kabul after Professor Rabbani`s assassination," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said.

"This (offer) was reiterated in Istanbul" when President Asif Ali Zardari met his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, she said.

"Schedule of the visit is being worked out by the Ministry of Interior," Janjua added.

PTI

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