Pakistan Angered by Afghan Allegations on Rabbani Murder

Posted October 6th, 2011 at 7:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Pakistan is calling for Afghanistan to refrain from “playing politics,” following Afghan allegations the assassination of Kabul's top peace envoy was planned in Pakistan and carried out by a Pakistani citizen.

Islamabad has denied the allegations and offered to cooperate with the probe of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani's killing.

On Thursday, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua urged Afghanistan to stop making such accusations. She said Afghan officials should demonstrate “maturity and responsibility” and refrain from political grandstanding.

Januja also said the Pakistani government was closely studying the strategic pact Afghanistan signed this week with Islamabad's archenemy, India. The deal looks to boost security and economic ties, with India agreeing to help train Afghan forces.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday that India and Afghanistan are sovereign countries and have the right to do what they want.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed the agreement with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a recent two-day trip to New Delhi. The Afghan leader tried to reassure Pakistan on the deal, referring to India as a friend and Pakistan as a “twin brother.”

Also Thursday, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said India is seeking to create an “anti-Pakistan” Afghanistan, in order to dominate the region and weaken Pakistan. Mr. Musharraf told a forum in Washington that Afghanistan sends its diplomats and security forces to India for training, but has never sent an official to Pakistan despite an offer of free training.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama said he is concerned by Pakistan's military and intelligence community's ties to what he called “unsavory characters.”

The president did not elaborate, but the White House has previously said Pakistan has links with al-Qaida-linked Haqqani militants. The former top U.S. military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said last month that the Haqqani network acts as a “veritable arm” of Pakistan's military spy agency. Islamabad denies the charges.

Despite his concerns, Mr. Obama said he is not inclined to cut off U.S. aid to Pakistan because of Washington's “great desire” to help the Pakistani people.

President Obama also said tried to reassure Pakistan that it should not be threatened by a stable Afghanistan and ties Kabul has with India. He said Pakistan should realize that a peaceful approach toward India would be in “everybody's interests.”

The U.S. leader also commended Islamabad for being a valuable partner in the fight against terrorism.