Pakistan not behind embassy bombing in Kabul: PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Pakistan is not behind the suicide car-bombing that ripped through the Indian embassy in Kabul, killing 41 people and wounding 139, the country’s prime minister said on Tuesday.

Afghan authorities had suggested that Monday’s attack was coordinated with foreign agents in the region, a likely reference to Pakistan.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani said that was not true.

“We need a stable Afghanistan,” he said on the sidelines of an Islamic summit in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.

“Certainly, why should Pakistan destabilize Afghanistan? It is in our interest, a stable Afghanistan. We want stability in the region,” he told reporters, adding that Pakistan itself was a victim of terrorism.

Over the weekend, a suicide bomb attack in Pakistani capital Islamabad killed 18 people and wounded nearly 50. The attack was on Pakistani police guarding Islamists marking the anniversary of an army commando raid on Islamabad’s Red Mosque.

On Monday, six small bombs went off on streets in the southern city of Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city and its commercial capital, wounding at least 23 people.

Gillani said authorities were investigating who was behind the attacks.

“Those who want to destabilize peace in the region, they are the people. And because strategically Pakistan is at an extremely important place, and we are fighting on the forefronts. We are just on the border of Afghanistan, therefore a lot of pressure is on us,” he said.

He said the attacks could be a fallout of Pakistan’s recent crackdown against militants in the North West Frontier Province.

The attacks in Pakistan are likely to raise questions about the new government’s security policy and will increase concern about prospects for the country, a nuclear-armed U.S. ally making a transition to civilian rule.

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