Islamabad: In a first of its kind deal, Pakistan's spy agency ISI has entered into an agreement with its Afghan counterpart over intelligence sharing and coordinated operations against Taliban militants.
The accord between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and Afghanistan National Directorate of Security (NDS) was reached as the two sides have started cooperation in the war on terror after years of bickering and misunderstanding.
According to the Pakistan Army, the first of its kind agreement followed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and ISI chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar's visit to Afghanistan last week to seek more cooperation in the efforts to eradicate Taliban rebels.
Sharif's visit to Kabul came as concerns grow over an upsurge in Taliban-led violence in Afghanistan.
“MoU signed by ISI and NDS includes intelligence sharing, complementary and coordinated intelligence operations on respective sides,” Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted.
The two intelligence agencies would cooperate in counter- terrorism operations, including joint probe of the terrorism suspects, reports said.
The ISI would also equip the NDS and train its personnel. The deal is the latest among several initiatives taken by the two countries to increase defence cooperation.
Afghan defence forces chief General Sher Muhammad Karimi was specially invited last month for the first time at the passing-out parade of Pakistan army officers as the chief guest.
Also, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during his trip to Pakistan last year also visited the army headquarters in Rawalpindi as a mark of increasing trust between the two sides. But still the two sides need to cover a lot of distance as suspicions remain over each other's intentions.
Afghan officials have frequently accused Pakistan of harbouring and nurturing Taliban militants.
The accord sealed last week has angered Afghan parliamentarians who in a debate in Wolesi Jirga or lower house had criticised it.