In a report carried by the Voice of America, a senior Afghan Interior Ministry official has alleged that the attack in January 2017 that killed five Emirati diplomats in Kandahar was planned in Pakistan. It was further claimed that the investigations of Afghan intelligence agencies had shown an increase in the links between some madrassas in Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban. The murder of the five Emiratis was embarrassing for the Afghans as it occurred inside the guest house of the Governor of Kandahar where security may be expected to be tighter than the norm. Without sight of the detailed reasons why such a serious assertion should be made it has to be treated with scepticism.
As with so much that surrounds the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan there is a pervasive opacity. The Afghan government is indignant at the way in which Pakistan has shelled terrorist facilities that raid into Pakistan but are based on Afghan soil, and Pakistan is no less indignant that Afghanistan has to say the least been tardy to respond to requests that it move against groups thus located.
For decades, Pakistan has hosted millions of Afghans, many of whom are second or even third generation, seeing Pakistan as their home. For Pakistan, the welcome once extended is wearing thin, and it is clear that there are Afghans within the wider diaspora who are inimical to the state of Pakistan and have allied with extreme groups and participated in terrorist activity — to the considerable detriment of Pakistan.
Extrapolating that to this latest allegation is far from being a logical progression. In the aftermath of the Kandahar killing Deutsche Welle was reporting that it was an ‘inside job’ and the Afghan police chief of Kandahar province, General Abdul Raziq, who had left the room shortly before the sofa exploded — concurred. Several Afghan nationals were detained but nothing has been heard of their fates since. Unsourced intelligence is little better than rumour. We remain sceptical.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2017.
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