US Implicates Pakistani Agents in Kabul Bomb Attack



U.S. officials are accusing Pakistan's primary intelligence service of helping to carry out last month's bomb attack on India's embassy in Afghanistan. U.S. newspapers reported that American intelligence agencies claim they have evidence linking Pakistani agents to the attackers. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from Islamabad.

Pakistan's shadowy Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, or ISI, has been accused before of planning attacks in India and Afghanistan. But Friday's news reports appear to be the first time that U.S. officials have publicly stated they have evidence of Pakistani involvement.

The New York Times and the Washington Post newspapers report that U.S. officials say U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted communications between militants and what they say were Pakistani government agents about the July 7 bombing that killed 41 people at India's embassy in Kabul.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told VOA that no evidence has been provided to the Pakistani government.  

"Nobody has given us any proof," he said. "We have said if there is any proof of Pakistan's involvement we would like to see the proof of that because merely alleging something means nothing."

The ISI has had strong links to Afghan militant groups, particularly during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Pakistani military officially turned against its Taliban allies in Afghanistan and supported the U.S.-led invasion.

But analysts say some Pakistani military officers and intelligence agents could harbor sympathies for their former allies.

Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman says routing-out militant sympathizers from ISI ranks has been a clear government policy. She tells VOA she believes those officials have been "pretty much" removed from their positions.

"As far as I know, and as far as we are informed, the army has worked very hard to root any such elements out," said Rehman. "Because as you know they were exposed to a very long engagement with the Afghan resistance and those were really jihadis of a particular hardcore kind."

A spokesman for Pakistan's army said the military and the government would like to investigate if they are shown the evidence behind the US allegations.

The allegations come on the eve of a scheduled meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka between Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The two are among the heads of government attending the summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Tensions between India and Pakistan, as well as the deteriorating relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan have threatened to overshadow the summit.

India has recently warned that the peace process between the two, longtime rivals was "under stress." But following a meeting with Indian foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday in Sri Lanka, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters "a lot of steam has been let out of the pressure cooker."

Earlier in the week, India had accused Pakistani troops of crossing the Line of Control where a cease-fire has been in place for eight years. Pakistan has rejected the claim.



This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs