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Pakistan has assured a visiting Afghan investigative delegation of full co-operation in the effort to arrest those responsible for the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council and former Afghan president.
"Prof. Rabbani was making efforts for peace, and it was Pakistan's responsibility to hunt down his killers, who had tried to disrupt the peace initiatives and damage Pak-Afghan ties," Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik told CentralAsiaOnline.com at the end of the Afghan delegation's visit to Islamabad on November 24th.
A nine-member delegation, led by National Directorate of Security (NDS) deputy chief Gen. Hesamuddin Hesam, received assurances of co-operation at meetings with Pakistani officials in Islamabad during its three day visit.
An Afghan commission, led by Defence Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak, is investigating Rabbani's killing.
The delegation, which included senior defence, interior ministry and NDS officials, arrived in Islamabad November 22nd to share information with Pakistani officials about the Rabbani assassination.
Rabbani was assassinated September 20th in his Kabul home by a turban bomber who pretended to be a high level Taliban commander.
Rabbani was a friend of Pakistan and his murder was a source of sorrow for both Pakistan and Afghanistan, Malik said.
Senior Pakistani intelligence officials, including Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director-General Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha and Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director-General Aftab Sultan met with the Afghans.
Pakistan has condemned the assassination.
Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani led a high-ranking delegation to Kabul to express his condolences immediately after Rabbani's slaying. He offered to share intelligence on the assassination with Afghanistan.
Malik cited Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari's recent meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, at which they decided Pakistan would help the Afghan authorities investigate.
The two sides agreed to work together and Pakistan gave assurances it would do everything to help bring Rabbani's killers to justice, according to a joint statement issued November 24th.
The Afghan delegation met with "concerned departments" to discuss the slaying, according to a Pakistani Interior Ministry statement. Malik discussed various aspects of the investigation with its members.
"The assassination of Prof. Rabbani is also an irreparable loss for Pakistan," Malik told the Afghans, according to the statement.
The Afghans shared evidence with Pakistan pertaining to the involvement of the Quetta Shura Taliban group in Rabbani's slaying.
While Afghan officials hope Pakistan will arrest several Taliban figures, nobody wanted in connection with the Rabbani assassination is in Pakistan, Malik told Central Asia Online.
Earlier in November, Turkish President Abdullah Gul brokered an Afghan-Pakistani deal at a trilateral summit in Istanbul, where the two agreed on a mechanism to investigate the murder.
The decision to allow the delegation from Afghan intelligence to visit Pakistan is considered an unusual diplomatic gesture by Islamabad.