- Special Pages
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad has hit back after Afghan President Hamid Karzai claimed an attack on the Afghan intelligence chief was planned in Pakistan, asking him to share evidence instead of levelling allegations.
The assassination attempt on National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief Asadullah Khalid was carried out Thursday by an attacker who claimed to be a Taliban peace envoy but had a bomb hidden in his underwear.
President Karzai did not directly blame Pakistan for the attack but said the Taliban would not have been able to carry out the bombing and that “bigger hands were involved”.
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry rejected the claim and said it was ready to help investigate what it called “this criminal act”.
“Before levelling charges the Afghan government would do well if they shared information or evidence with Pakistan that they might have with regard to the cowardly attack,” the foreign ministry said in a statement issued late Saturday.
The ministry said Kabul would “also do well by ordering an investigation into any lapses in the security arrangements around the NDS chief”.
Khalid was being treated at a US-run military hospital at Bagram airbase outside Kabul, where he is in a stable condition, security sources said.
Karzai said the attacker, who came in the name of a guest to meet Khalid, came from Pakistan, adding the “attack was plotted... from the (southwestern) city of Quetta in Pakistan. I will raise this issue with Pakistan.”
Kabul last year blamed Pakistan for the assassination of the head of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, Burhanuddin Rabbani, who also killed by a bomber posing as a Taliban peace envoy. Islamabad rejected that claim. Relations between the neighbours are often tense and Kabul has accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban, accusations Islamabad has always rejected, insisting it is committed to fighting the insurgents.
In a statement claiming responsibility for Thursday’s bombing, several hours after it took place at a spy agency guesthouse, the Taliban named the attacker as “hero mujahid Hafiz Mohammad”.