ANKARA: Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed on Wednesday to jointly investigate an assassination attempt last week on Afghanistan’s spy chief that has heightened tension between the countries after Kabul said the raid was planned in Pakistan.
Leaders of both countries, accompanied by ministers and their army chiefs, met at a trilateral summit hosted by Turkey only days after the head of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency was wounded by a suicide bomber in the Afghan capital.
“A joint working group comprising relevant agencies of Afghanistan and Pakistan will address the recent attack on the National Security Director of Afghanistan,” all three countries said in a statement.
With explosives hidden inside his underwear and posing as a peace messenger, a suicide bomber wounded spy chief Asadullah Khalid last week in a brazen attack that threatened to derail a nascent and already fragile reconciliation process.
After the attack, Afghan President Hamid Karzai stopped short of directly blaming his neighbour but said he knew “for a fact” the bomber came from Pakistan and that Kabul would seek “clarification” from Islamabad during the meetings in Turkey.
Pakistan had said it would assist in any investigation into the bombing, but had also urged Karzai to provide evidence before “levelling charges”, and suggested Kabul look into any lapses in its own security plans that may have facilitated the attack.
While Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari put up a united front on Wednesday, both leaders were scant on details of their talks over the attack, one of several in recent years in which Kabul alleges Pakistani involvement.
Asked whether he had received the clarification he had wanted before the meeting, Karzai said: “We had very good conversations and we are not going to divulge details.”