ISLAMABAD – After President Hamid Karzai suspected Pakistani involvement in Thursday’s suicide attack on the Afghan intelligence chief, Islamabad on Saturday responded quickly offering every sort of help and cooperation on its part to investigate the brazen assault.

Asadullah Khalid, chief of the Afghan National Directorate of Security, was wounded in an assassination bid in Kabul, when a person impersonating a Taliban peace emissary blew himself up.

Commenting on the suicide hit, the Afghan president said on Saturday they knew well that that man came from Quetta, and suspected that the attack was plotted in a Pakistani city bordering Afghanistan. He said he would definitely take up this matter with the Pakistan government, probably in the upcoming Trilateral Summit in Turkey, starting next week.

In response to Karzai’s terse remarks, the Foreign Office spokesman, in a statement, toned down the issue with just offering every sort of support and cooperation in probing the attack on the Afghan intelligence chief.

Referring to the statement of Karzai, the spokesman said that Kabul should also look into the lapses in security of its intelligence chief, and probe that how a person carrying explosives managed to clear security checks.

It may be mentioned a spokesperson for the Afghan Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, had claimed the responsibility for the attack, saying that Asadullah Khalid was their target.

The Afghan government, however, did not take this claim seriously. Even President Karzai, in a press conference in Kabul, said that the Taliban came up with an exaggerated claim, and doubted their abilities to perpetrate such a sophisticated attack.

Karzai insisted that the visitor, who blew himself up in a meeting with Asadullah Khalid, came from Quetta, suspecting that the suicide plan was prepared in Quetta. He added that he would take up the matter with Pakistan in the upcoming Trilateral Summit starting in Turkey in the next week.

People who are having eye on foreign affairs said that Islamabad acted wisely as it came up with a mild reaction to a provocative and irresponsible reaction to the suicide attack.

They said that such an irresponsible attitude on part of the Afghan president could sabotage the upcoming summit in Turkey, where the three neighbouring states – Paksitan, Afghanistan and Turkey – are set to discuss the post-ISAF withdrawal from Afghanistan and the overall security situation in the restive Afghanistan.

On the other hand, sources close to the Taliban said that Asadullah Khalid was on their hit-list and they were behind him for quite some time.  It was due to the serious threats to Khalid that he kept on changing his abode from time to time and was under heavily-guarded security.

It may be mentioned here that Khalid was hated among the Afghan Taliban as before assuming the office of chief of the National Directorate of Security he was Kandhar governor, with tainted character of rights violations, particularly his abhorrence and cruelty with people associated with the Taliban was proverbial.

Even the Amnesty International has prepared a long charge-sheet against him for the rights violation during his rule as the governor of Kandhar. It was due to his disliking in the Taliban ranks that a life attempt was made on him in 2007 that he survived.