ISI-NDS intelligence sharing to kick off, Afghanistan agrees to Pak demand (oped

ISI-NDS intelligence sharing to kick off, Afghanistan agrees to Pak demand (oped
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KABUL: 

Afghanistan has agreed to the long desired ISI - NDS cooperation with Pakistan in order to curb the menace of terrorism in the region.

Afghanistan is ready to hold dialogue with Pakistan for intelligence cooperation at ‘any level’, an Afghan security official has told members of the Pak-Afghan track-II dialogue in Kabul.

The Afghan official, speaking informally and off-the-record, said senior security officials of the two countries had planned a ‘interaction’ but three major attacks in Kabul, Kandahar and Helmand on January 10 delayed the process.  Nearly 60 people, including five UAE diplomats were killed in the attacks. The UAE ambassador, who was injured in the blast, died of wounds last week.

The remarks by the Afghan security official came amid growing tensions over the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Pakistan last week, which claimed the lives of about 100 people and injured over 300 more.

“We are ready for deep discussions on intelligence cooperation. We need a better environment. We need engagement. But only meetings and shaking hands will not give results. Sincere and effective engagement is a must to remove the mistrust,” the Afghan official told members of the dialogue titled ‘Beyond Boundaries’ which concluded on Monday.

President Ashraf Ghani had put a pause on a memorandum of understanding between the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 2015. 

As the two sides struck the ground-breaking agreement to share intelligence and resources to combat terrorism, it was opposed in Afghanistan and some leaders, including Hamid Karzai, publicly opposed the deal as against the ‘national interests’. 

Afghan media had also reported then NDS Chief Rahmatullah Nabil had refused to sign the accord.

Pakistan