KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan official accused Pakistan's premier spy agency yesterday of organizing a recent assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai, the most serious in a string of allegations against Pakistan.
The charge bodes ill for American efforts to get Pakistan's new government to work with Karzai's embattled administration to counter Islamic militants on their common border.
Karzai escaped unharmed when assailants fired guns and mortars toward the president, senior officials, and foreign diplomats during a military parade in downtown Kabul on April 27. Three Afghans were killed.
Since then, Karzai has ramped up his criticism of Pakistan, whom Afghan officials have long suspected of secretly aiding the insurgents.
Karzai threatened to send troops into Pakistan to eliminate Taliban leaders this month.
Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh alleged last month that suspects had exchanged cellphone text messages with people in Pakistan's lawless tribal regions and the city of Peshawar.
Presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada said Tuesday that "the hand of one foreign intelligence agency was clearly involved."
Saleh's spokesman, Saeed Ansari, went further yesterday, asserting that Afghan intelligence could prove Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, was involved.
"The evidence and documents as well as the confessions of people arrested by the intelligence service shows that the main organizer of the terrorist acts during the 16th anniversary of the mujahedeen victory was the intelligence service of Pakistan and its allies," Ansari said.
Ansari said released a list of phone numbers prefixed with Pakistan's country code, 92, which he said the suspects had used.