Kabul: The person involved in the assassination of Afghan peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani was Pakistani, a statement issued from Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai’s office, said Sunday.
Karzai`s office said a special commission investigating Rabbani`s death had concluded the attack was planned in Quetta, the Pakistani city where key Taliban leaders are based. The delegation also said the primary assailant was a Pakistani citizen. It added that the killer had been living in Chaman, a Pakistani border town near Quetta.
Rabbani, chairman of President Hamid Karzai’s High Peace Council, was killed by a turban suicide bomber at his home in Kabul on September 20.
Earlier, Interior Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi had said on Saturday in an Afghan parliamentary session that Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) was involved in the killing of ex-Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani.
“Without any doubt, Pakistan’s ISI hand has been involved,” The News quoted Mohammadi, as telling lawmakers, while discussing Rabbani’s killing.
Reacting to Afghanistan’s presidential statement, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has "some misunderstandings" on the killing of peace council chief Burhanuddin Rabbani, which Kabul blames on the Taliban`s
"I want to convey to President Hamid Karzai, who is my brother and friend and with whom we have good relations, that he has some misunderstandings on the assassination of Professor Rabbani," Gilani said yesterday.
"They (Afghans) cannot doubt us. Pakistanis are a
self-respecting nation. Pakistan neither interferes in
anyone`s affairs nor allows anyone`s interference in our
affairs," he said.
Earlier, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan
described as "false and baseless" the Afghan allegation.
"The Afghan allegations that Pakistan is behind the
assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani
are totally unfounded and baseless," she said.
The Afghan government also urged Pakistan to take concrete steps to help end the Taliban insurgency and use its influence to bring the militants to direct peace talks.
Reflecting the deepening frustration, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said over the weekend that he was giving up on trying to talk to the Taliban directly and that the key to ending the war is mediation by Pakistan.
At the same time, Karzai has suspended a series of meetings between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States because of the fallout over accusations that Pakistan is playing a double game.
The allegations against Pakistan and the calls for its help reveal a central quandary in trying to end the decade of fighting that began with the US invasion after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: Pakistan, even if it has ties to groups behind the insurgency, would be of central importance in any effort to bring about a negotiated peace.
Meanwhile, the members of the High Peace Council that Rabbani had headed met with Karzai and asked for a full review of the process. They said they do not want to waste time trying to reconcile with insurgents on the Pakistani side of the border who have not renounced violence, according to a presidential statement and members of the council.
That would be a major shift for the council, which was formed to try to find a way to get the Taliban leadership to the negotiating table.
"Those groups that are hiding in Pakistan, they are sending terrorists at us. So how can we have peace with those people?" said Ismail Qasemyar, one of the members who met with Karzai.
Pakistani analysts said the deterioration in Pakistan`s relations with both the US and Afghanistan has dire implications for any potential peace settlement with the Taliban, which all sides have said is the only sustainable way to end the Afghan war.
With agencies’ inputs