Khar blames Afghan refugees for Rabbani`s killing

Afghan officials have said Rabbani`s killing in September was planned in Pakistan and carried out by a Pakistani suicide bomber.

Updated: Dec 14, 2011, 18:09 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan has blamed Afghan
refugees living in the country for the assassination of former
Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani and warned Kabul against
making it a "scapegoat" for all the ills happening in the
war-torn nation.

"We are not responsible if Afghan refugees crossed the
border and entered Kabul, stayed in a guest house and attacked
Professor Rabbani," Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told
the Senate or upper house of parliament during question hour
yesterday.

Afghan officials have said Rabbani`s killing in September
was planned in Pakistan and carried out by a Pakistani suicide
bomber.

Khar also told the House that Pakistan will have to review
its diplomatic policy and relations with Afghanistan in view
of its own interests.

"Pakistan has baselessly been charged with recent attacks
in Kabul. If they have any problem, Pakistan should not be
made a scapegoat by the Afghan government and other countries.

We are part of the solution, and not part of the problem," she
said.

Pakistan should not be blamed for all the ills and
criminal acts in Afghanistan, she said while responding to
supplementary questions.

Afghan refugees living in Pakistan are creating various
problems, she said.

Kabul recently sent an official delegation to Pakistan to
investigate the killing of the Afghan peace envoy.

Khar said Pakistan wanted the "best relations with
Afghanistan" to ensure peace and stability in the region and
to jointly fight extremism and terrorism.

Afghanistan is the most important country for Pakistan as
the security of both countries is inter-linked, she said.
The minister said Pakistan was in the process of
reviewing different aspects of its foreign policy.

In reply to a question, Khar said besides the ambassador
and three other officials, Pakistan Embassy in Kabul had 36
staff.

Since the threat to the mission had increased after the
killing of Rabbani, most of the staff were performing
security-related duties, she said.

Khar told the House that Pakistan will have to review its
diplomatic policy and relations with Afghanistan in view of
its own interests.

"If Pakistan considers Afghanistan as a sovereign
country, then they should show respect for our independence
and sovereignty," she said.

She said if Pakistanis were facing problems in getting
Afghan visas, then Pakistan would have to change its visa
policy for Afghans.

PTI