Afghanistan blames ISI for Kabul attacks; Ghani snubs Abbasi

31 January 2018

Afghanistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mahmoud Saikal has accused Pakistan's intelligence network ISI of training one of the Kabul attackers on Tuesday.

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence trained a terrorist involved in the attack on Kabul's iconic Intercontinental Hotel in which over 20 people were killed, Saikal alleged in a tweet on Monday.

"Abdul Qahar, father of one of the terrorists involved in last week attack on #Kabul Intercontinental Hotel, concedes his son was trained in Chaman of #Balochistan Province of #Pakistan by the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan. Qahar is currently in custody of Afg authorities," Saikal tweeted.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Pakistan has denied its involvement. A mid-level diplomat at the Afghan embassy in the US alleged the attack was planned by Pakistan.

''A clear proof that the attack on the hotel was planned in a madrasa on Pakistan's soil. Abdul Qahar, the father of one of the suicide attackers, is an eyewitness of the story,'' wrote Majeed Qarar, the cultural attaché at the embassy of Afghanistan on the micro-blogging site.

Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani refused to take a phone call from Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who had phoned in connection with the spate of recent attacks in Afghanistan, a source told TOLOnews on Wednesday.

According to a presidential palace source, Abbasi called Ghani on Tuesday night to pass on his condolences but Ghani refused to take his call. Instead he sent a delegation including Masoom Stanekzai, the chief of the National Directorate of Security, and interior minister Wais Ahmad Barmak to Pakistan to hand over evidence of ISI involvement in the recent attacks in Kabul.

The source added that the evidence will be shared with Pakistan's army.

On 20 January, Taliban men armed with Kalashnikovs and suicide vests attacked the landmark Intercontinental Hotel and killed around 25 people, going from room to room, searching for foreigners during the more than 12-hour ordeal.

"The night vision goggles found with Taliban attackers in maiwand's ANA base were military grade goggles (not sold to public) procured by Pak army from a British company & supplied 2 Lashkar-e-Tayyeba in Kashmir & Taliban in Afghanistan. Lashkar-e-Tayyeba is an int'l terrorist org," Saikal said in another tweet.

The hotel strike in Kabul was similar to the attack on Taj and Trident hotels in Mumbai on 26 November 2008. US intelligence agencies reportedly had evidence of the ISI hand behind the 26/11 terror attack.

The hotel attack was followed by a Taliban-claimed ambulance bombing on 27 January in Kabul that claimed over 100 lives.

The continued attacks in Afghanistan by the Taliban prompted severe condemnation from the US as well as the UN Security Council, which have sought to bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack.

US President Donald Trump also asked all countries to take decisive action against the Taliban and the terrorist infrastructure that supported them.

"I condemn the despicable car-bomb attack in Kabul today (January 27) that has left scores of innocent civilians dead and hundreds injured. This murderous attack renews our resolve and that of our Afghan partners," Trump had said, ruling out holding talks with the Taliban.

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