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Afghans Give Pakistanis Evidence In Rabbani Killing

Afghanistan’s intelligence service said Saturday it has given
Pakistan hard evidence that former Afghan President Burhanuddin
Rabbani’s assassination was planned in the southern outskirts of the
Pakistani city of Quetta where key Taliban leaders are based.

In
the wake of Rabbani’s death, the Afghan government has said it no
longer thinks negotiations with the Taliban can be productive and that
there should be negotiations with Pakistan instead.
The
Taliban have not claimed responsibility for killing Rabbani, who headed
the Afghan government’s effort to broker peace with the insurgents.
A
suicide bomber claiming to be a peace emissary from the Taliban killed
Rabbani at the former president’s home on Sept. 20 by detonating a bomb
hidden in his turban.
Rabbani’s death was a major setback to U.S.-backed efforts to broker peace with insurgents and end the nearly decade-long war.
On
the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York last
week, an Afghan intelligence official said Rabbani’s death was plotted
for four months by the Afghan Taliban’s governing council known as the
Quetta Shura, named after the city in southern Pakistan.
Lutifullah
Mashal, a spokesman for the Afghan intelligence service, provided the
first details about where the assassination was allegedly planned at a
news conference on Saturday.
“The place where
Professor Rabbani’s killing was planned is a town called Satellite near
Quetta, Pakistan,” Mashal told reporters. “The key person involved in
the assassination of Rabbani has been arrested and he has provided lots
of strong evidence about where and how it was planned. We have given all
that evidence to the Pakistan embassy.”
The
Afghan intelligence documents handed over to Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul
include the address, photographs and a layout of a house in Satellite,
Mashal said. He said the Pakistanis also have been provided with the
names of individuals who discussed Rabbani’s assassination at the house
in Satellite.
Mashal would not disclose the
identity of the person in custody, saying only that he was a second-tier
figure within the Taliban hierarchy.
He said additional details soon would be released by a commission set up to investigate Rabbani’s death.
Asked
what Afghanistan expected Pakistan to do with the information, Mashal
referred the question to the Afghan Foreign Ministry and the commission.
“This is all concrete evidence that nobody can ignore,” he said.
Earlier
this week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with top government,
religious, political and jihadi leaders to discuss the peace effort and
Afghanistan’s relations with the U.S., the European Union and NATO.
The
Afghan leaders said the Taliban have responded to peace overtures to
peace by killing Afghanis, according to a statement released by Karzai’s
office after the meeting.
“With the
assassination of Rabbani and the recent killings of other high-ranking
people, the Taliban have shown they don’t have the authority to have
negotiations about peace in Afghanistan,” the statement said.
It
said that Pakistan has failed to take steps to eliminate terrorist
sanctuaries and that if Pakistan’s intelligence service is using the
Taliban against Afghanistan, then the Afghan government needs to have
negotiations with Pakistan, “not the Taliban.”

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