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Backlash brews in Afghanistan over Ghani''s cooperation with Pak.

There is a backlash brewing within Afghanistan over it’s growing cooperation with Pakistan, blamed for encouraging Taliban insurgency in the country, according to media reports here.

Pakistan’s army had confirmed the two countries’ security agencies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last week in which Pakistan will help train and equip Afghan intelligence officers, take part in the interrogation of terror suspects and conduct joint operations.

Many Afghan intelligence officials are unhappy over President Ashraf Ghani’s overtures to a neighbour they blame for encouraging the Taliban insurgency, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.

“It is an astonishing step for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), which has long accused its opposite numbers at the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) of practically directing the Taliban insurgency,” the newspaper said.

But with the number of attacks soaring, the diplomatic achievements have not been enough to appease Ghani’s critics.

The immediate backlash highlights the difficult balance the Afghan President has to strike between pushing for peace and sustaining public support for his government.

Highlighting its extreme sensitivity, the Afghan government did not formally announce the intelligence-sharing deal and denied that Pakistan will train and equip Afghan officers.

Leaks to the Afghan media said that the NDS chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, was against the move.

Pakistan has long feared that arch-rival India would seek to use Afghanistan against it and the latest moves to align with Ghani are aimed at repositioning some of the regional power, the newspaper said.

However, the Afghan-Pak alliance remains shaky with hardliners within both camps opposed to it, it said.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 2:00:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/afghan-officials-uncomfortable-over-ghanis-cooperation-with-pak/article7223825.ece

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