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Pakistan rejects charges on Rabbani hit

Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed in Kabul on September 20.
Pakistan has roundly dismissed allegations from Kabul government's officials that its intelligence agency masterminded the assassination of the former Afghan president, Burhanuddin Rabbani.

“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,” Reuters cited a statement released by the Pakistani foreign ministry on Monday.

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

On Saturday, Afghan Interior Minister Bismullah Muhammadi Khan said he had compelling evidence that shows Rabbani's assassination had been planned on Pakistani soil.

Speaking in the Afghan parliament, Muhammadi Khan said the assassination plot had been devised months ago by the Taliban leadership council in Quetta, which is located 700 kilometers (435 miles) southwest of the Pakistani capital Islamabad, and in cooperation with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

“Without any doubt, ISI hand has been involved,” the Afghan interior minister said.

He added that one of the masterminds behind the plot, Hameedullah Akhondzada, has been arrested.

“We have detained Hameedullah Akhondzada, who confessed that it was nothing but a plot,” Muhammadi Khan stated out.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) said on Saturday that the plot to kill Rabbani was hatched in the Pakistani city of Quetta.

“A confession from those we detained in regard to Rabbani's assassination shows a direct involvement of the Quetta Shura,” NDS spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said in Kabul.

He added that one of the people arrested was a key player in the plot.

“He provided evidence and documents which we have submitted to the Pakistan Embassy. Pakistan is obliged to take action based on mutual cooperation and diplomatic ties with Afghanistan,” Mashal stated.

Rabbani, who was serving as the head of Afghanistan's Peace Council, was killed on September 20 during a meeting with Taliban militants at his house in Kabul.

A militant, who had reportedly hidden explosives in his turban, blew himself up during the meeting.

Five other people, all senior Afghan officials, were also killed in the attack, and the head of the joint secretariat of the High Council for Peace, Massum Stanikzai, was injured.


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