ISLAMABAD: The top intelligence agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost anti-terror cooperation and share intelligence, officials from the two countries said on Monday.
A spokesman for the Afghan intelligence agency – the National Directorate of Security (NDS) – confirmed in Kabul that an MoU has been signed with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) but rejected Afghan media reports that NDS officials would get training in Pakistan. Pakistani security officials also confirmed the MoU but didn’t give details.
Afghan presidential spokesman Ajmal Ubaid Abidi told Voice of America Pashto service that the ISI-NDS agreement only says that “both spy agencies will cooperate in the fight against terrorism” and doesn’t suggest Afghan intelligence officials will be sent to Pakistan for training.
“Afghanistan and Pakistan face same threats and the agreement is aimed at exploring ways how to continue fight against common threats,” Abidi added.
NDS spokesman Abdul Haseeb Siddiqui told a news conference in Kabul on Monday that the agreement with the ISI has been signed to counter threats. He went on to say that the MoU has clarified the ‘enemy’ and the fundamental threats and to share intelligence techniques. “The NDS will look to Pakistan’s sincere cooperation on the basis of the MoU.”
He said the ISI and the NDS also signed MoUs in 2006 and 2009 but they could not prove effective due to some complications in the agreements.
Section of the Afghan media has reported that the MoU was signed during the ISI chief Let Gen Rizwan Akhtar visit to Kabul this month. According to media reports the MoU says: “The ISI will train and equip the NDS personnel and both the agencies will closely cooperate in their fight against terror.”
Director General Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa also confirmed the agreement, but avoided giving any further details.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2015.