KABUL: The Taliban regime said on Monday the attack on Pakistan’s embassy, claimed by the militant Islamic State group, was carried out with the involvement of unidentified foreign groups with intention of sowing distrust with Pakistan.

In Islamabad, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said they remained in active contact with the Afghan authorities and expressed the confidence that the Dec 2 incident would be fully investigated and the perpetrators and their abettors would be brought to account.

A Pakistani guard was wounded in the attack that FO called an attempt to assassinate its head of mission, Ubaidur Rehman Niza­mani. Ambassador Nizamani escaped unhurt in the attack.

The Taliban said they had arrested one suspect and re­co­vered two guns while their spokesperson Zabi­hullah Mujahid confirmed the suspect was a foreign IS member.

“The investigation revealed that this attack was jointly organised by IS and rebels. Some foreign malicious circles are behind the attack and the aim was to create distrust between the two brotherly countries.”

Mr Mujahid declined to say what nationality the suspect was, or if it was the same person other officials reported had been arrested hours after the incident.

An investigation was continuing, he said.

Responding to media queries regarding Mujahid’s remarks, FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, in a press release, said it was an ongoing investigation and they were closely following it.

Pakistan remains “resolute in our commitment to fight the scourge of terrorism”, she added.

Pakistan earlier said it was consulting Afghan authorities to verify reports of the IS claim of responsibility for the attack.

The FO official said Amb Nizamani is in the country on a prescheduled visit for consultations and Pakistan has no plan to close the embassy.

The Taliban are at pains to portray Afghanistan as safe for diplomats, but two Russian embassy staff members were killed in a suicide bombing outside the mission in September in another attack claimed by IS.

Last month a gunman shot dead a Pakistan security guard at the Chaman border crossing, leading to its closure for a week.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2022

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