Over at the Asia Times, M K Bhadrakumar postulates that Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence agency was behind this week’s suicide bomb assassination of Dr. Abdullah Laghmani, Afghanistan’s deputy intelligence chief:
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been stalking Laghmani for a decade. It is rare for an intelligence agency to single out one individual as its mortal enemy and publicly warn him. The ISI had bestowed on Laghmani that rare honor more than once publicly.
If one could go back and take a peep into the Northern Alliance’s (NA’s) intelligence apparatus during the anti-Taliban resistance in the latter half of the 1990s, one would spot Laghmani as an operative of exceptional brilliance in the shadows.
Being an ethnic Pashtun, he had keen insight into the political culture of the Taliban movement and the mindset of its patrons in the ISI, which was an invaluable asset for the NA. Pakistan got a taste of what Laghmani could do when in July 2008 he established the connection between the suicide bombers who attacked the Indian Embassy in Kabul and the ISI by tracing a cellphone found in the wreckage to a facilitator in Kabul who was in direct telephone contact with a Pakistani intelligence official in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province.
The ISI felt the maximum heat from him in his native region of eastern Afghanistan, given the complexity of the situation there involving factors such as the traditional failure of the Taliban to strike deep roots among the Ghilzai tribes, the presence of the network of Jalaluddin Haqqani and al-Qaeda and the continuing influence of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and his Hezb-e Islami.
This is purely speculation and I can neither confirm nor deny Bhadrakumar’s report.
The Haqqani Network, which was involved in the bombing at the Indian embassy, is close to the ISI and has been behind most of the complex attacks in eastern Afghanistan [see list]. The odds are high that the Haqqanis were also behind the Laghmani assassination.
At the very least, Pakistan’s refusal to move against the Haqqani Network, which is based in North Waziristan, allows the Haqqanis to continue their campaign in Afghanistan. The worst case scenario, as in the case of the Indian embassy bombingis that the ISI ordered the hit.
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