Regional intelligence Chiefs huddle in Islamabad

Regional intelligence Chiefs huddle in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD – Intelligence chiefs from Russia, China and Iran met in Pakistan Thursday to discuss anti-terrorism cooperation, sources said, with emphasis on ways to prevent the buildup of the Islamic State militant group.

The quadrilateral meeting, hosted by Islamabad, held detailed discussions on anti-terrorism cooperation and reviewed the secuirty situation in Afghanistan.

Sources, however, dismissed that the understanding reached during the meeting could undermine US-led efforts to stabilise Afghanistan, saying the cooperation was “not targeted against any other country as it may be viewed”.

The fight against Islamic State and other militant groups including Al Qaeda is at the heart of the US counterterrorism mission being conducted alongside the NATO-led Resolute Support operation that trains and advises Afghan security forces.

As well as the battle against militancy, the meeting discussed measures to tackle infiltration attempts by Islamic State fighters into Afghanistan from Iraq and Syria.

A spokesperson for Moscow’s Foreign Intelligence Service said that the emergence of the Islamic State militant group in Afghanistan prompted the unprecendented huddle in Pakistan.

He said the director of the Russian spy agency, Sergei Naryshkin, attended the Islamabad meeting along with Chinese and Iranian counterparts.

Militants loyal to Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), the movement’s local affiliate, first started appearing in Afghanistan s Nangarhar province around four years ago. Since then, the movement has gained a reputation for brutality extreme even by the standards of the Afghan conflict, making a trademark of executions by beheading or explosion.