x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Fury in Pakistan as Afghans claim ISI was involved in Rabbani assassination

Foreign ministry calls allegation, made by the Afghan interior minister, that spy agency was involved in assassination of Afghanistan's envoy for Taliban peace talks, baseless and irresponsible.

ISLAMABAD // Pakistan has denied its spy agency was involved in the assassination of Afghanistan's envoy for Taliban peace talks.

In a statement last night, the country's foreign ministry called the allegation, made by the Afghan interior minister, baseless and irresponsible.

The statement described the envoy, the former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, as a friend of Pakistan.

On Saturday, the Afghan interior minister, Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, claimed in parliament that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency was involved in the suicide bombing that killed Mr Rabbani.

He said evidence showed that his death "was plotted in [the Pakistani city of] Quetta and the person who carried out the suicide attack was a citizen of Pakistan".

The Pakistani foreign ministry claimed the evidence pointed in another direction.

A statement said: "The Afghan interior minister has not highlighted the fact that the assassin and his handler were roaming around in Kandahar and Kabul for quite some time.

"The Afghan interior minister did not say that the assassin had been four days in the guesthouse of the High Peace Council managed by Afghans close to Burhanuddin Rabbani.

"Instead of making irresponsible statements, those in positions of authority should deliberate as to why all Afghans who are favourably disposed towards peace and Pakistan are being removed from the scene and killed".