Pakistan Denies ISI Behind India Embassy Blast

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Pakistan on Friday angrily denied a newspaper report that its intelligence service helped plan a bombing of India's embassy in Kabul that killed at least 41 people.

The New York Times reported for Friday's editions that American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence were involved in the July 7 attack in the Afghan capital.

The report cited unnamed U.S. government officials. It said the conclusion was based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Sadiq described the report as "total rubbish."

Sadiq said there was no evidence of ISI involvement.

"The foreign newspapers keep writing such things against ISI, and we reject these allegations," he said by telephone from a summit of south Asian leaders in Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan has long accused the ISI of backing the Taliban-led insurgency wracking the country, despite Pakistan's support of the U.S.-led war on terror. The embassy bombing was the deadliest in Kabul since the 2001 ouster of the Islamist regime in a U.S. invasion.

Last week, India accused "elements of Pakistan" of being behind the blast and said it has put the four-year-old peace process between historic rivals India and Pakistan — who have fought three wars since they won independence from Britain 60 years ago — "under stress."

The latest accusations came as south Asian leaders, including those from India, Afghanistan and Pakistan, gathered for a meeting on regional cooperation in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said Thursday the south Asian countries were expected to sign a pact to work together to fight terrorism and to freeze funds used for terror attacks.