Burhanuddin Rabbani’s Murder has serious implications, Pak-Afghan Relations Could become Strained

By Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan

Hardly, Pakistan was refuting the allegations levelled by outgoing American military head Admiral Mike Mullen, once it was hit by another accusation of involvement in the killing of former Afghan President Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani.  According to Lutifullah Mashal, a representative of the Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), that Pakistani intelligence agency ISI was behind the assassination of former Afghan President Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani and that Quetta Shura made the plan for this killing in Quetta, Pakistan. While acting in haste, President Karazai, seconded these allegations of its intelligence agency and repeated the charges. The new episode surfaced after Pentagon and US State Department could not put Pakistan on defensive, after Mullen accused the Pakistan for its alleged relationship with Haqqanis. This time Pakistani nation rebuffed the US allegations and strategy of degrading Pakistan through a collective voice from all spheres; political parties, people and its armed forces. So much so later State Department has to disown the Mullen’s remarks and even President Obama has said that, he is not sure of the linkages between ISI and Haqqanis. Mullen himself changed his statement during the farewell ceremony in Virginia and advised his successor to remain engage with Pakistan, owing to its significance.  

Late Prof Rabbani was the head of the Afghan peace council, established by President Karazai. Primarily the peace council was to negotiate with Taliban, convince them to renounce the insurgent activities, and join the Afghan Government for a stable, peaceful and prosper Afghanistan.  Afghan Government and Prof Rabbani had full backing of Pakistan in this regard. Indeed Pakistan is a worst sufferer of Afghan instability and wants peace there. Pakistan is a strong advocate of the fact that, peace in Afghanistan will bring peace and stability in Pakistan. Indeed, these two nations cannot be dealt separately in term of stability or otherwise in the region. Since any setback to peace in Afghanistan will equally affect Pakistan, therefore, Pakistan cannot wish for Afghanistan anything that it does not wish for itself.  Prof Rabbani was very close and friendly to Pakistan. He played a significant role during Afghan war against former Soviet Union and Pakistani Government played a role in making him as an interim President of Afghanistan.  How could Pakistan be behind such a heinous crime of killing its own friend? 

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President Karazai should have envisioned the scenario under which these accusations are being framed against Pakistan and its intelligence agency, before passing a verdict about this whole incident.  President Karazai too had a backing of Pakistan in winning the Presidential election at a time once Obama Administration and CIA declared him and his family as the corrupt most. It was Pakistan then, which supported him throughout and now on the instigation of CIA and US Administration, he too is accusing Pakistan. This indeed is the height of being ungrateful. 

Under the prevailing circumstances, all out efforts are being made to penalize Pakistan for various activities in the region, which it has never thought of undertaking. Even a layman can visualize, the motive behind these allegations, after all why President Karazai should fell short of such an assessment or else he is acting as a tool in the hands of the occupiers. Why can the Afghan acumen visualize that, who is the real beneficiary of the Afghanistan remaining an unstable state?  What goods an instable Afghanistan could accrue for Pakistan?  At best, the worst instability, drug and weapons culture, ethnic and sectarian conflicts or the extra burden of over 5 million Afghan refugees, now reduced to 2.5 million, who are parasite on our economy. More than that, the instable Afghanistan has enabled involvement of dozen of international spying network inside Pakistan with the intent to destabilize it, on the pretext of sub-nationalism, sectarianism and ethnic issues.

Late Prof Rabbani was a peace promoter in Afghanistan, whose indirect beneficiary was Pakistan, a real sufferer beside Afghanistan itself. How could Pakistan or its intelligence agency be behind the murder of such a peace lover?  Why can the accusers understand that ISI is acting as the eyes and ears of Pakistan, promote, and look after its interests? What interests ISI could have served by killing a Pakistani friend and messenger of peace.  Similarly, this organization cannot provide, safe havens, harbour and abet the terrorists groups who could be; Taliban, Haqqanis or other militants, who are killing the innocent Pakistanis since last one decade.  Why cannot the sense prevail among the Afghan rulers its acumen and their instigators?  For how long should they continue cheating their own people on behest of their foreign lords? Afghan officials and rulers should be loyal to their soil and people at least, if not with their well-wisher, Pakistan?

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Since Pakistan would be a real recipient of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, besides Afghanistan itself, therefore, it is not desired by many extra-regional powers, who indeed have different agendas. Then who will be the real beneficiary of Afghanistan, remaining instable? For understanding such a scenario, there is need to analyse that, would there be need of foreign forces and foreign spying networks in a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. A stable Afghanistan would ask all such foreigners to leave its geographical frontiers, for the sake of maintaining country’s sovereignty, which is highly compromised currently.  In such a scenario, those who have spent trillion of dollars would have to pack up for their homelands. Had they spent these heavy amounts for the benefits of Afghan people? No, not at all, Europeans and US have spent these dollars and even got their soldiers killed for objective not to the imagination of many analysts even. They want a permanent say in the region and that is only possible once there is an uncertainty and instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The instability in Afghanistan can be prolonged and maintained only if peace efforts are repeatedly sabotaged and so-called rulers at Kabul are kept at defensive, needing the foreign crutches for their survival all the time.  This is indeed the real situation; where NATO and U.S are the real beneficiary of this entire scenario, hence intend continuing with the status quo.

Pakistani intelligence agency and armed forces understand this tactics, after prolong working with CIA, NATO and US for so many years. Pakistan desires that, U.S and foreign elements should let Afghan people to decide their future themselves. That is why; Pakistan and ISI is accused and pursued to give this realistic approach of bringing a peace in Afghanistan, which is equally essential for Pakistan. Afghan President and people should understand the real motives and stop playing at the hands of CIA and others who wants to exploit the situation for their own benefit, rather contributing towards Afghan peace. Rather accusing Pakistan and threatening it with the UN resolutions, President Karazai should sit with his Pakistani counterpart and Afghan NDS chief should meet ISI chief to assess the real aims and objectives behind this assassination of Prof Rabbani.


Indeed, time has arrived where leaders and those who matters, from both countries should sit together understand each other’s viewpoint, bridge the trust deficit among them, stop playing in the hands of global powers and understand the global conspiracies, being hatched against their motherlands. Hamid Karazai should negotiate with Pakistan, considering it as the well-wisher and sympathizer of all Afghan people, rather the supporter of Taliban or Haqqanis only. Pakistan should talk with Karazai, considering him as the representative of all Afghan people, rather a representative of a particular faction, or a CIA tool.

Both sides, however, should put an end to the blame game and work for the stability and peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan through an indigenous solution, rather accommodating US and Indian aims. Let us leave no room for CIA and State Department to either scold Pakistan or use Afghan soil and its leadership for the fulfilment of its long-term agenda in the region.