Pakistan and Afghanistan will soon begin a joint investigation into the failed assassination attempt on the Afghan spy chief that triggered fresh tensions between the two neighbours.
Asadullah Khalid, the head of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, was wounded in a suicide attack by a Taliban insurgent disguised as a peace interlocutor on December 6.
Soon after the attack, Afghan President Hamid Karzai alleged that the bomber had come from Pakistan. This triggered tensions between the two countries, threatening a nascent reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
However, the two sides agreed to jointly probe the attack during the recent trilateral summit in the Turkish capital of Ankara. A working group was formed, comprising relevant authorities from Pakistan and Afghanistan, to address the issue.
Sources told The Express Tribune that a team of Pakistani intelligence officials is expected to travel to Kabul to help their Afghan counterparts in investigating the attack.
During the trilateral summit, President Asif Ali Zardari had pointed out that the attack could be the work of elements who wanted to derail peace efforts, a senior Pakistani official told The Express Tribune.
“The timing of the incident clearly indicates that certain forces are out to sabotage the reconciliation process,” said the official, adding that for the first time, the international community had acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts for stabilising Afghanistan.
The release of some Taliban cadres at the request of the Afghan High Peace Council had also helped dispel the impression about Pakistan of any foul play in the neighboring country, the official argued.
“One has to analyse the attack on the Afghan intelligence chief keeping in mind the beneficiaries of the incident,” he said.
“The role of Pakistan is not more than that of a facilitator, rest of the work has to be done by Afghans themselves,” said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar at a recent joint news conference along with her Afghan counterpart.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2012.