In a first of its kind deal, the spy agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to share intelligence and carry out “coordinated intelligence operations” against militants operating along their porous border, in the latest sign of improved relations following years of mistrust that undermined the fight against the Taliban.
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday to share intelligence and conduct coordinated operations against terrorists operating along their porous border.
Pakistan’s army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa announced the signing of the Memoranda of Understanding between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security in a Twitter post late Monday. Bajwa did not say when the accord was signed.
MOU signed by ISI&NDS.Includes int sharing,complimentary and coordinated int ops on respective sides.
— AsimBajwaISPR (@AsimBajwaISPR) May 18, 2015
The announcement came days after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, along with the country’s army chief and the head of the ISI, visited Kabul to step up cooperation in the fight against militants.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have long accused each other of sheltering militants, but relations have improved since Afghan President Ashraf Ghani assumed power last September. An attack on a military-run school in Pakistan in December in which Taliban gunmen killed scores of people, mainly children, seems to have hastened the movement toward greater cooperation.
According to the agreement, both spy agencies will identify common enemies and carry out joint operations on either side of the border.
The signing of the security agreement between the two countries comes almost a week after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Raheel Sharif visited Kabul to discuss bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
During his trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan Army chief General Raheel had said the territories of Pakistan and Afghanistan will be not be used against each other, adding that Afghanistan’s enemies are Pakistan’s enemies.
During the trip, Nawaz Sharif had also strongly condemned the recent surge in Taliban attacks in Afghanistan, adding that all terrorist sanctuaries when found will be eliminated by direct action. “In case of terrorist activity, both Pakistan and Afghanistan retain the right of counter actions in conjunction,” the premier had said.