Kabul/Islamabad, May 19: Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see both countries working closely together to fight terror, officials have confirmed.
According to the MoU, ISI will train and equip the NDS in its functioning. In addition, Afghanistan and Pakistan will fight terrorism jointly and both institutions will investigate the accused behind any terror incident within their respective countries, reports TOLOnews.
The agreement signed in Kabul last week was also officially announced by the Pakistani Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) via its social network late Monday night.
"MoU signed by ISI and NDS includes intelligence sharing, complementary and coordinated intel operations on respective sides," the ISPR tweeted.
The first-of-its-kind deal between the two intelligence agencies followed the May 12 visit to Kabul by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif and ISI chief Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar.
The signing of the ISI-NDS agreement was the latest in a series of steps that Pakistan and Afghanistan have taken since the installation of the National Unity government (NUG) in Kabul.
"The memorandum of understanding between Afghanistan and Pakistan is not a new thing. In the past, both institutions had such agreements, but now the focus of this agreement is mostly on jointly fighting terrorism," says Ajmal Abedi, spokesperson of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
However, officials from the previous government said that no such MoU was signed in the past.
Abedi, meanwhile, said that Afghanistan and Pakistan both face similar security threats.
"Afghanistan has a proactive policy now, and both countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, now understand that they have to jointly fight terrorism because both countries are suffering from this security threat," said Abedi.
The ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar has visited Kabul twice in the past 10 days, once with Sharif and once on his own.
In the past 13 years, fingers have often been pointed at ISI, accusing it of orchestrating attacks in Afghanistan. But since the installation of the NUG, the strategy of the government has changed and in recent times Pakistan has emphasised that it was a friend of Afghanistan and would support the country in its quest for peace.