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Pakistan to help probe Rabbani assassination

Pakistan to help probe Rabbani assassination

Nov 01, 2011 - 21:38

ISTANBUL (PANinfo-icon): Pakistaninfo-icon agreed on Tuesday to cooperate with Afghanistaninfo-icon in investigating the assassination of ex-Afghan president and chief peace negotiator, Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Relation between the two countries deteriorated after Rabbani's assassination at his residence in the high-security Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic enclave of Kabulinfo-icon on September 20.

Kabul claims a representative of the Talibaninfo-icon's Shurainfo-icon killed the former High Peace Councilinfo-icon chief, and that the murder was plotted in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province.

The breakthrough came at a meeting, the first between President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari since the Sept. 20 attack, which fuelled tensions between Islamabad and Kabul.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who hosted the three-way summit behind closed doors at the Ciragan Palace, told reporters Zardari and Karzai had decided to work together in probing the murder.

"One of the most important conclusions is the decision made by Pakistan and Afghanistan to establish a cooperation mechanism to illuminate the assassination of Rabbani," he said.

Karzai, who frequently accuses Islamabad of using insurgents as a policy tool, said he was optimistic their collaboration would yield a concrete outcome.  "I hope this cooperation will produce results."

The two nations had been trying for years to overcome their trust deficit, Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin told journalists on the periphery of the meeting. "But we have seen on results on the ground. So we need to move on to a stage where we actually do concrete things..."

Earlier in the day, Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi told Pajhwok Afghan News the president would stress the importance of Pakistan's role in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

In recent months, officials say, incursions into eastern Afghanistan from Pakistani soil have caused several casualties in addition to causing damage to property in Kunar and Nuristan provinces. However, Islamabad denies the allegation as baseless.

The tripartite process was launched in 2007, with the summits focused on promoting cooperation in regional peace, security, stability and economic development.

The summit will be followed by a regional conference, to be attended by foreign ministers from Pakistan, India, France, Germany and several other countries.



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