Mr. Rabbani had become too close to Pashtuns and critical of the US mess in his country in the months and days preceding his murder.He was advocating a new Kabul government including the Afghan Taliban and was working on this goal with President
Hamid Karzai. He had improved ties with Pakistan and addressed Pakistanis for the first time in a decade in January through a TV interview. He spoke in Urdu as a special gesture to Pakistanis.Several ruthless Afghan warlords backed by CIA and Pentagon were upset by Mr. Rabbani’s Higher Peace Council. India is closely connected to the warlords and shared their suspicion about Mr. Rabbani’s activities.
The warlords, US military and CIA are natural allies since they quietly oppose Obama’s withdrawal plans from Afghanistan. They also agree on isolating the Pashtuns and disrupting Islamabad’s natural ties with its northeastern neighbor and are keen to invite India as a permanent US military proxy in the country after a US pullout. The US military and intelligence communities are not happy with President Obama’s plan to withdraw from Afghanistan. This is especially true for CIA, which has its largest base of operations in the world in Afghanistan, close to Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia.
Removing Mr. Rabbani from the scene has helped Afghan warlords end prospects of peace with Afghan Taliban. The murder has also enabled Pentagon and CIA to put pressure on White House to scrap plans to withdraw. Moreover, Pentagon and CIA almost succeeded in pushing US into a war with Pakistan as way of escaping accountability on Afghan failures. A conflict with Islamabad would have helped Pentagon and CIA dodge tough defense budget cuts back home, and delay US pullback plans.
Ironically, Pakistani government and military are reluctant to publicly accuse Washington and its Afghan allies of murdering Mr. Rabbani, though Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar came close when she accused CIA and US military of maintaining links to terrorists in Afghanistan.
One reason why Pakistan is unable to highlight its case on Mr. Rabbani internationally is the weakness of Pakistan’s state-run and private media. The state-run media is a bureaucratic behemoth wedded to old journalism ways. And the private media is largely ineffective outside the country.