Afghan spy chief arrives today on trust mending mission

Published: February 4, 2016
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Director NDS Masoud Andarabi. PHOTO: FILE

Director NDS Masoud Andarabi. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

The head of Afghanistan’s top spy agency is due to travel to Islamabad today (Thursday) on a crucial visit that seeks to restore trust marred by a blame game between the two neighbours.

Director of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Masoud Andarabi will hold talks with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar and other senior officials on a whole range of security matters, a security official said on condition of anonymity.

Afghan spy chief resigns over Ghani’s remarks in Pakistan

This is the first visit by the Afghan spymaster in recent months and is part of efforts by the two neighbours to sort out their differences on some of the pressing issues, including terrorist sanctuaries and better border management.

Andarabi was appointed head of NDS in December last year after his predecessor Rehmatullah Nabil resigned over policy differences regarding Pakistan with President Ashraf Ghani. Nabil was reportedly against Ghani’s decision to give Islamabad any role in Afghan peacemaking efforts. He was also believed to be instrumental in scuttling the agreement between NDS and ISI.

With his departure, both sides are now looking to make a fresh start and address each other’s concern.

Pakistan will raise the issue of ‘terrorist sanctuaries’ on Afghan soil during the NDS chief’s visit. Islamabad said Afghan soil was used by terrorists to carry out the recent deadly assault at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.

Meeting held between Pak, Afghan military commanders at Peshawar Corps Headquarters

Soon after the attack, Pakistan’s army chief spoke to the Afghan president as well as the top US general stationed in Kabul to seek action against the perpetrators of the Charsadda attack.

Sources said the Afghan president decided to send the NDS chief for detailed discussions with Pakistani authorities on the issue. The crucial talks between the intelligence chiefs of the two countries come just two days before another round of four-way talks in Islamabad to finalise the roadmap for the Afghan reconciliation process.

There have been flurry of high-level exchanges between the two countries since President Ghani visited Islamabad on December 8 to attend the Heart of Asia conference. In a follow-up to his trip, army chief General Raheel Sharif travelled to Kabul on December 30. During the visit, both sides had agreed to take a number of steps to improve military-to-military relations.

More recently Pakistan’s director general military operations visited Kabul to meet his Afghan counterpart while a high-level delegation by the Afghan National Army travelled to Islamabad last week.

“The purpose of these contacts is to ensure that the two sides deal with common challenges more effectively,” the official said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Feb 4, 2016 - 1:46PM

    Peaceful coexistence is the future of sub-continent. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 4, 2016 - 1:51PM

    …..and the game of smoke and mirrors goes on.Recommend

  • tellmore
    Feb 4, 2016 - 3:49PM

    @Pakistani:
    Only after the two recent suicide attacks which killed dozens of Afghans, it seems NDS chief understood that Afghanistan cannot remain peaceful without the co operation from Pakistan.
    It is better now at least to know the reality and behave and cooperate with Pakistan.Recommend

  • iLuvAfgh
    Feb 4, 2016 - 6:45PM

    I strongly advice Afghan brothers to pay attention to their own progress and future instead of fighting Indian Proxy wars. India has stopped Afgh from going forward with Pak offers only for Indian own benefit at the cost of Afgh progress. If India cut Pak out everywher isnt that enough proof that it don’t care who is being crushed in its own race. India has pure-hate agenda and Afgh and Baloch poor are paying her price. If weaker states keep listening to India they will never be independent but under Indian control, despite being an independent nation. Think for your own future. Think; why all Indian neighbors are technologically behind India? Its Indian family tradition in-order to keep all relatives under the thumb they have to be shoe-less and in rags and looking up to their big brother India, its very simple. Wake-Up Afgh. you’re a great nation, why sacrificing your poor for Indian goals? You friendship with India what did it give you beside war and bloodshed and poverty. Pak can’t allow Indian proxy wars from Afgh soil, you will be the only one who loose. You have tremendous future with us due to same border… not with India, that’s only dragging you back 5000 years.Recommend

  • Yarghal
    Feb 6, 2016 - 2:56AM

    Pakistani Brother, thank you for your reasonable thoughts.
    I have a dream that one day the hostility between Pakistan and India ends, which the main root cause of grief and suffering in this region and the road block for the progress.
    I wish that the governments in this region become democratic the majority of the state budgets are not spent for military hardware, because it is better to use the resources for investment in the infrastructure, health and education of the people.
    I pray that the religion is not used as a negative force for hatred and violence, but as a positive mean for spiritual happiness of the people.
    I hope that the mistrust ends between the neighboring countries and the cooperation starts leading to improving the live standard of the people.
    For us there no difference between Indians and Pakistanis, because they have the same culture, living for thousand years in the same region, belong to the same race and use the same language.
    The only difference is that they believe in different religions, but the time for religion wars are over and we don’t live anymore in middle ages.
    The Afghans likes peaceful cooperation with all neighboring countries, including Pakistan, Iran and India.Recommend

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