Fracturing friendship: Pakistan rejects Afghan allegations

Published: October 4, 2011
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Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have fractured after the murder of former Afghan president and peace jirga chief Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have fractured after the murder of former Afghan president and peace jirga chief Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has angrily rejected allegations from Afghan officials that its intelligence agency masterminded the assassination of Kabul’s chief peace negotiator with the Taliban.

An investigative delegation established by President Hamid Karzai said evidence and a confession provided by a man involved in Burhanuddin Rabbani’s killing on September 20 had revealed that the bomber was Pakistani and the assassination had been plotted in Pakistan.

(Read: Rabbani’s assassin was a Pakistani: Kabul)

“Instead of making such irresponsible statements, those in positions of authority in Kabul should seriously deliberate as to why all those Afghans who are favorably disposed towards peace and towards Pakistan are systematically being removed from the scene and killed,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“There is a need to take stock of the direction taken by Afghan Intelligence and security agencies.”

Rabbani’s killing derailed efforts to forge dialogue with the Taliban to end the 10-year war and raised fears of a dangerous widening of Afghanistan’s ethnic rifts.

Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets of Kabul on Sunday to condemn recent shelling of border areas by Pakistan’s army and accused the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency of involvement in Rabbani’s killing.

(Read: Hundreds of Afghans hold anti-Pakistan protest)

In another sign of rising Afghan frustration with Islamabad, the peace council which Rabbani headed reiterated earlier comments by Karzai that negotiations should continue, but with Pakistan, rather than the Taliban, suggesting Islamabad was directing some militants from behind the scenes.

Karzai has questioned whether the Taliban has a functioning leadership that can be negotiated with, while his national security adviser told the Wall Street Journal that the talks were ‘a joke.’

The Pentagon on Monday said that while a peace deal remained an important U.S. goal in Afghanistan, the Afghan government’s decisions regarding the peace initiative would not undermine the NATO-led coalition’s fight as the horizon for foreign troops’ presence grows shorter.

“The idea that reconciliation may not be as far along as it ought to be, or the idea that they’re still challenges to be overcome in reconciliation, does not negate the security work that we’re doing,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

Afghan leaders have long questioned Islamabad’s promises to help bring peace to their country. Pakistani intelligence is suspected of ties to militant groups in Afghanistan, especially the Haqqani network, one of the deadliest.

Pakistan sees the group as a strategic asset, a counterweight to the growing influence of rival India in Afghanistan, analysts say.

ISI chief Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha told Reuters last week that Pakistan never provided a single penny or bullet to the Haqqani network.

The network’s leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, told the BBC in an interview broadcast on Monday his group was not linked to the ISI.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Babloo
    Oct 4, 2011 - 12:26AM

    This reminds me of the time when immediately after 26/11 Pak government and media said that the 26/11 terrorists had no linkages to Pakistan and were Hindu terrorists.

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  • saeed
    Oct 4, 2011 - 12:39AM

    @Karazai I think you want to test the anger of Pakistanis…if we decided to give you the test of your own medicine then it will be difficult for you to even find a water and bread in Kabul to eat as every thing goes from Pakistan…millions of afghans are living here since decades and due to which we have suffered a lot…afghan transit trade has done so much harm to our economy but we are allowing it only for the sake of poor afghans…instead of thanking us you just want to obey your masters orders to put these silly blames on Pakistan..stop this all non sense and concentrate on your issues..find out people who let this guy reach rabbani in the most restricted area of your city with such a bomb..it is your inside job how come a guy can get a bomb to his house undetected in such an atmosphere of terrorism in the region..are you so naive or you think we are so fool..stop being used as American and Indian mouth piece.

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  • Oct 4, 2011 - 1:14AM

    Pakistan is rule by the army. If peace is established in Afghanistan with civilian rule and the role of the Afghan army in the same nature as the other armies of the sub-continent, Pakistan army cannot accept that. The Army under the civilian control is not acceptable to Pakistan army. Democracy and rule of law on both the sides of its land borders is absolutely no to Pakistan army. It will be a threat to its power base. Therefore Pakistan army cannot afford peace in Afghanistan. For their very existance Pakistan army will carry out proxy war and terrorism in Afghanistan through terrorists.

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  • rkfrom USA
    Oct 4, 2011 - 2:34AM

    so pak is denying afghan allegations??? right, if Pakis say it then it must be true. They always tell teh truth like when they insisted they do not know where osama is????

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  • Niaz Hussain Shah
    Oct 4, 2011 - 3:29AM

    Pakistan is going to stay as a united and prosper country on the map of the world, till the end of universe INSHALLAH.

    Karzai and company should always remember that this was Pakistan who fought Afghan war in 80s. Millions and millions of Afghan citizen migrated to Pakistan to save their lives. It was Pakistani nation who welcomed them with open arms and heart. Pakistanis became the ANSAR of MADINA for them. People shared their houses, lands and food with them.The families of Hamid Karzai, Burhanuddin Rabbani and other tribal chiefs and notables also migrated to Pakistan. They established their businesses and bought properties. Even today more than one million Afghan refugees are living in Pakistan.
    In return what is Pakistan getting now, a bad name, blame, threats, blackmailing, attack on its soil, killing of innocent people, suicidal missions, target killings, do this, do that, do more. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, we are fed up with your threats, your blames. We want peace and we love to live with peace but we cannot take any dictation or blames any more. The commando who surrendered before your master Bush has gone with the wind. Now we are united as a Nation and willing to sacrifice our lives to defend our freedom. We the people demand from our leaders to listen to the public and act according to their wishes. Bring Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s spirit back who vowed to fight for 1000 years and not give up. Stop bullying us and stop accusing us for the acts we have not committed.

    We want peace. We want to bring peace to this region and whole world. We hate war mongering mentalities. We hate murderers. Peace is our ultimate goal.

    HUM AMN CHAHTAIN HAIN MAGAR ZULM KAY KHELAF
    GAR JANG LAZMI HAI TO PHER JANG HE SAHIH

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  • Doctor
    Oct 4, 2011 - 5:49AM

    Deny, deny, deny. When has the Pakistani government actually EVER admitted to making a mistake?

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  • BruteForce
    Oct 4, 2011 - 8:03AM

    What ever the Afghans say, either their elected leaders say it or the people come out in hundreds onto the streets, the belief among Pakistanis that Taliban=Afghan and Afghan=Taliban is just way too strong!

    If Karzai says something to the effect of accusing Pakistan, then he is labelled a US and Indian stooge. If the people come out they are dismissed as having hired by RAW or CIA..

    The point is: Is Pakistan gaining anything by this mindset? No. Why? Because this is only increasing the frustration among the Afghans, forcing them to do something drastic. Given the porous borders and the many enemies Pakistan has got, this is really a dangerous thing for Pakistan.

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  • Nasir
    Oct 4, 2011 - 1:51PM

    Blame game has started. First it was US and now Afg. First there were dialog between Taliban and Afg Govt keeping Pak out, but when things went wrong, their own security failures were just put on Pak. Suddenly the killer turned out to be Pakistani with names/ addresses phone numbers etc. etc. Where was this info before/ during the dialog. Just a lame propaganda to let down ISI/ Pak.

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