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Govt asked to abrogate intel sharing deal with Pakistan

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Members of the Wolesi Jirga (WJ) on Wednesday asked the National Unity Government (NUG) to invalidate the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on intelligence sharing with Pakistan.

They opposed the memorandum and termed it against the national interests. The MPs said that if the government failed to cancel the agreement, it would lose public support.

Chief of the Defense Committee (DC) of WJ, Muhammad Iqbal Safi, said that he is under crippling pressure from electorates as public want to know that why the government signed the agreement with a country that killed thousands of Afghans.

The agreement was signed under compulsion, because the chief of National Directorate of Security denied signing it. The memorandum was signed by the deputy chief of the NDS, he said.

He further said that Pakistani military leadership appointed Rizwan Akhtar as chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to sign such deals and dismantle the Afghan spy agency.

Shukria Barekzai, another member of the Defense Committee, termed the agreement a “shameful act” and said there would be uprising against the NUG if the memorandum was not abrogated.

“There is no need for briefing or explanation on the agreement. It is clear that ISI is the enemy of Afghans. People will never forgive those who are selling the country to the enemy that killed Afghan children, women, men and security personnel,” she said.

She went on to say that Afghans would never allow anyone to sell their country.

Aagha Jan Sayedi, an MP from Kapisa, also criticized the government for the deal, and said that hundreds of young Afghans lost their lives in the war against terror, but the leaders are afraid of the enemies.

“Pakistani Taliban show no mercy. They kill children, women and even eighty-year old men,” he said, adding that Afghans would reconcile with those Taliban who are Afghans.

Mullah Tarakhail, an MP representing nomads in the WJ, advised the lawmakers to avoid acting emotionally.

He said that Islam is teaching us about peace. Tarakhail said the government should improve ties with Islamabad because emotional reaction over the deal would not benefit Afghanistan.

Lalai Hameedzai, an MP from Kandahar and member of the ISC, said that India and Pakistan were fighting their proxy war in Afghanistan. He said the ongoing war was imposed on Afghans nearly 37 years ago.

The MP said that some officials of the previous government are supporting India and some Pakistan.

“We say that three million Afghans have given sacrifices in the war against the Soviet Union, but when the Russian foreign minister visit Kabul and sign agreement, we do not oppose it,” he said.

Hameedzai said the government could decide itself what is best for the public.

Farhad Siddiqi, an MP from Kabul, said the memorandum would not bring peace to the country because the ex-president Hamid Karzai tried many times to improve ties with Islamabad and prevent it from supporting insurgency.

“Three years ago Nawaz Sharif vowed to bring peace to Afghanistan within six months, but still terrorists supported by Pakistan are attacking us. Islamabad will never be an honest friend of Kabul. Pakistan dismantled Afghan army after collapse of Dr. Najibullah’s government in 1992,” he said.

Siddiqi asked the MPs for implementation of Article 69 of the Constitution if the president denied revoking the deal with ISI.

According to Article 69, the president shall be responsible to the nation as well as the Wolesi Jirga. Accusation of crimes against humanity, national treason as well as crimes against the president shall be demanded by one third of all members of the WJ.

Speaker of the WJ, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, said that ISI is fanning insecurity in Afghanistan. He said that many Afghans were killed due to interference of Islamabad. No one is safe as Pakistan is hell-bent on attacking Afghans.

“Thus, the lawmakers have the right to decide fate of this shameful pace and defend rights of Afghans,” he said.

He also ordered the chief of Internal Security Committee (ISC) of the WJ, to urge the NDS chief and advisor to the National Security Council (NSC) for details about the MoU.

Chief of the ISC, Meer Dad Khan Nijrabi, said that NDS is ready to revoke the deal but the NSC’s adviser Hanif Atmar has directed the authorities to implement the agreement.

Chief of the NDS, Rahmatullah Nabil, was ordered to welcome the chief of ISI when he came to Kabul. However, Nabil was not allowed to participate in the discussions, added Nijrabi.

Ex-President Hamid Karzai in a press statement sent to media has urged the government to abrogate the agreement. He said the unity government should restrain from inking pacts that are against the national interests. Former chiefs of the NDS Assadullah Khalid and Amrullah Salih also opposed the agreement and called it “a blot on Afghan history”.

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