Pressure builds on govt to review NDS-ISI deal
After an uproar, the lower house’s commissions on international affairs, defence and internal security were tasked to summon National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and the spymaster Rahmatullah Nabil.
Nabil appeared before the Wolesi Jirga at today’s session that proceeded behind closed doors and media people were barred from coverage. Atmar was outside the country and did not appear.
Abdul Hai Akhundzada, a lawmaker from southern Helmand province, claimed the MoU was signed without informing the national assembly.
After the off-camera session, Akhundzada told Pajhwok Afghan News the MoU had been signed, though the government said the agreement was yet to be finalised. He added the Chief Executive Officer and director general of NDS were not made aware of the agreement's signing. “The signing of the MoU was a job of the National Security Council.”
Saleh Mohammad Saleh, a member of the Internal Security Commission, said leaders of the government had bowed to public pressure to make some changes to the agreement.
Eng. Qarar, a lawmaker from eastern Laghman province, said the government should have consulted the national assembly and former jihadi leaders before signing the accord.
A day earlier, lawmakers asked the government for a review of the contents of the deal and making it public.
The MoU was signed by Pakistan and Afghanistan for cooperation between their spy agencies and its inking was confirmed by Pakistan’s chief military spokesman Maj. Gen Asim Bajwa on Twitter on May 18.
Some reports suggest the two spy agencies would jointly fight terrorism and the ISI would train and equip NDS personnel under the MoU, which set off uproar among civil society activists, parliamentarians and the public.
The NDS, however, announced today the deal had not been finalised and Afghanistan’s national interest would seriously be taken into consideration.
Shakiba Hashemi, a lawmaker from Kandahar province, said: “The unity government wants Afghanistan to be one of the provinces of Pakistan. Nobody including the president has the right to sign such an agreement.”
Ali Akbar Qasimi, another parliamentarian, quoted Nabil as saying that the deal had not been inked as yet.
Meanwhile, the Meshrano Jirga asked the government to immediately scrap the MoU.
Senator Nader Baloch said the MoU was against the national interest since Pakistan was the enemy of Afghan people.
He said government leaders should not enter such a deal with Pakistan if history offered any guide.
Senate chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar said: “The MoU is not acceptable to us.”
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