ISLAMABAD: A high-level Afghan intelligence delegation is in Pakistan for talks on anti-terror cooperation between the two uneasy neighbours, an Afghan diplomatic source said on Wednesday.
Deputy Director of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security or NDS, General Hesamuddin, is leading the five-member delegation in talks with Pakistani intelligence officials on a host of issues, the source told The Express Tribune.
Both sides will conclude their talks today (Thursday), which mainly “focus on cooperation between the intelligence agencies of the two countries”, he said. “The two sides also discussed their cooperation in the Afghan reconciliation process,” he added.
Sources said that both sides reviewed investigation into last month’s suicide attack on Afghan intelligence chief Asadullah Khalid in Kabul, who was critically injured.
A day after the attack, President Hamid Karzai had claimed that the bomber had come from Quetta and had demanded an investigation into the attack on Khalid, a close confidante who is now under treatment in an American hospital.
A Pakistani source also confirmed the visit of the Afghan NDS but refused to share details. He told The Express Tribune that the talks ‘reflect Pakistan’s quest to boost intelligence cooperation with Afghanistan’.
The visit comes just days after Islamabad confirmed it has freed 26 Afghan Taliban prisoners, including the Taliban former justice minister, Mulla Nooruddin Turabi and several former governors.
The Express Tribune has learnt that the issue of Taliban prisoners also came under discussion as Afghan authorities consider the issue of Taliban prisoners ‘incomplete’. Afghan authorities want details of the freed Afghan Taliban including where have they gone, why and when they had been arrested and on what charges, an Afghan official told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.
All the freed Afghan Taliban were not handed over to Afghan government, and were allowed to go anywhere under the safe passage mechanism agreed upon by Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States in April last year.
The US has also asked Pakistan to provide them with information about some of the freed Taliban and several others who are expected to be freed in the coming days.
The US has particularly asked Pakistan for information about the possible location of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the former deputy to Mullah Muhammad Omar, in case Islamabad decides to release him. Baradar was arrested in Karachi in February 2010.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2013.
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