Afghan Officials Blame Pakistan for Deadly Blast, Pakistan Denies Involvement

A massive homicide bombing against India's embassy in Kabul received support from foreign intelligence agencies, Afghanistan said in a security report released Tuesday, as Afghan officials heaped blame on Pakistan for the carnage.

Pakistan's prime minister denied that its intelligence service was behind the attack. Speaking in Malaysia, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said his country has no interest in destabilizing Afghanistan, noting that both countries are fighting the common enemy of terrorism.

But the Afghan report said terrorists had entered the country after receiving training, and logistical support from across the border, a reference to Pakistan. The report by the Ministry of Defense and the country's national security adviser was discussed by Afghanistan's Cabinet shortly after Monday's embassy attack, which killed 41 people and wounded 150.

"Without any doubt the terrorists could not have succeeded in this act without the support of foreign intelligence agencies," the report said.

The blast was the deadliest in Kabul since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

The Afghan Interior Ministry had earlier hinted that it suspected the Pakistan intelligence service of being behind the attack, saying the blast happened "in coordination and consultation with some of the active intelligence circles in the region."

Asked to comment on Afghanistan's view, Gilani said: "Why should Pakistan destabilize Afghanistan? It is in our interest to have a stable Afghanistan."

"We want stability in the region. We ourselves are a victim of terrorism and extremism," said Gilani on the sidelines of a summit of eight developing Islamic nations. He did not elaborate.

Afghanistan often accuses Pakistani intelligence of supporting the Taliban insurgency, a charge denied by Islamabad.

Also Tuesday, Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry summoned the charge d'affairs of Pakistan's Embassy over comments by a former Pakistani member of parliament on the need for jihad against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Suspicion of Pakistan's involvement with the Taliban runs deep in the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan because of historical reasons — Pakistani intelligence helped create the militia, many of whose leaders and recruits studied at religious schools in Pakistan.

Despite international condemnation of the Taliban regime's fundamentalist rule in Afghanistan from 1996-2001, Pakistan was one of the few countries that gave it diplomatic recognition.

Islamabad formally abandoned its support for the Taliban after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Still, the militia's leaders are suspected of receiving shelter and support in Pakistan, and maintaining links with the Pakistani intelligence agency.

Pakistan, on the other hand, views with suspicion India's current involvement in Afghanistan, including the millions of dollars donated for reconstruction and the thousands of Indian engineers and laborers helping to build roads and other infrastructure.

But militants are also wary of India's presence in the country and have frequently attacked Indian offices and projects around Afghanistan.

Ikram Sehgal, a political analyst in Pakistan, said he doubts Pakistan's intelligence service was behind the attack. He instead blamed Pashtuns — the largest of Afghan ethnic groups that also forms the core of the Taliban insurgency — saying they see Indians as "enemies."