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Haqqani network denies killing Rabbani, ISI ties

October 03, 2011

The wanted poster issued by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Sirajuddin Haqqani.—Reuters

KARACHI: The Haqqani network has categorically denied its involvement in the assassination of the former Afghanistan president Burhannudin Rabbani, said a media report on Monday.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, in his audio message told the BBC that his organisation had no links with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The BBC had passed on questions for the militant leader through an intermediary, who returned with the audio response.

The report published on the BBC website quoted Siraj Haqqani as saying: "We haven't killed Burhanuddin Rabbani and this has been said many times by the spokespersons of the Islamic Emirate."

Talking about his group's ties with the ISI, Siraj said that during the 1980s mujahideen fighters "had contacts with the intelligence agencies of Pakistan and other countries, but after the invasion by the Americans there have never been contacts by intelligence agencies of other countries which could be effective for us".

He also said accusations of links to the ISI were an attempt "to hide their failure and to confuse people's minds".

Siraj Haqqani vowed that "the game which is being played by the West...is close to an end", said the report.

He also pledged loyalty to the Afghan Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Omar by saying that “he is our leader and we totally obey him”.