KABUL: Amid escalating tensions between Islamabad and Kabul, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan on Tuesday refuted allegations made by a top Afghan intelligence official that Pakistan has refused to cooperate with a probe into the assassination of top Afghan peacemaker Burhanuddin Rabbani.
Mohammad Sadiq said a letter he wrote to investigators promised to help. Sadiq told Reuters that he had neither refused to help nor complained about media leaks.
“There is a clear misunderstanding, we sent a letter to the commission set up to investigate Professor Rabbani’s killing and reaffirmed our cooperation. We never said that we are not cooperating,” he said in a telephone interview.
Furthermore, Pakistan’s foreign ministry also rejected the Afghan allegations. “We completely reject, this is not true,” spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua told AFP. “Pakistan stands by its commitment to help Afghanistan in investigating Rabbani’s killings,” she said.
Janjua said Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had himself offered cooperation in the investigation, when he visited Kabul to offer his condolences over Rabbani’s assassination.
Zia, deputy head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), told a news conference in Kabul that Pakistan’s embassy had contacted the intelligence agency to complain after details of the investigation appeared in the media. “We are not able to cooperate because Professor Rabbani’s assassination case has been leaked to the media,” Zia quoted the letter from the Pakistan embassy as saying.
Despite having been given evidence, including pictures of the perpetrators, the Pakistan embassy made excuses and refused to help, Zia said. He also added that Afghan investigators wanted to meet the head of ISI Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, “but they didn’t show any interest.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2011.