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Wolesi Jirga to summon intelligence officials, Atmar over NDS-ISI deal

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: The Wolesi Jirga (WJ) or Lower House of the parliament has decided to call up the adviser of the National Security Council (NSC), Muhammad Hanif Atmar, and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials over the deal with Pakistan’s spy agency.

The WJ decided to summon the NSC’s adviser, the chief and deputy chief of NDS, when three different committees of the Wolesi Jirga reported that the officials have secretly signed the NDS-ISI agreement.

Abdul Hai Aakhondzada, the deputy chief of Internal Security Committee (ISC), said that the agreement had to be rejected, because introducing changes in the deal was ‘impossible’.

“We cannot review the agreement and bring changes, because the original draft of the deal is in Islamabad,” he claimed.

It is while Chief of the NDS, Rahmatullah Nabil, has said the agreement was not finalized and signed by the deputy chiefs of the two spy agencies.

Chief of the International Relations Committee (IRC) of the WJ, Abdul Qayom Sajadi, said the accord has created differences among the leadership of the National Unity Government (NUG), and hurt ties between Afghanistan and its strategic partner, India.

“The agreement also eroded public trust over the government. Therefore, those who have signed the deal secretly—putting our national interests in jeopardy—must be summoned to tell why they inked the accord,” said Sajadi.

He said that members of the WJ committees have appreciated the NDS chief for his stance and invalidating the agreement. He added that there was no trust between the countries. The legislator said that the parliament would not support the deal unless trust between the two countries was restored.

Chief of the Judicial Committee of the WJ, Haji Abdu, suggested that the agreement should be rejected by the lawmakers and those who signed it should be summoned.

Training of the NDS operatives by ISI, sharing intelligence information, presence of region intelligence agencies in Afghanistan, and action against separatists are the major controversial issues in the agreement, said the ISC. The committee added that the accord would mean recognition of the Durand Line as an international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Chief of the committee, Meerdad Khan Nijrabi, said that Pakistan would benefit more than Afghanistan if the agreement was implemented.

He said that the deal would also hurt Kabul-Delhi ties. “Pakistan will misuse the intelligence information for own benefits and to justify the attacks launched by the Taliban inside Afghanistan,” he said.

Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, has decided to summon Hanif Atmar, chief and deputy chief of NDS to answer the questions of the MPs regarding the agreement.

Muhammad Dawood Kalakani, member of the IRC, told media that lawmakers have not received the original draft of the deal. He alleged the WJ speaker of conspiring with the government over the accord. Kalakani said the speaker is not taking suggestion of the MPs serious.

Speaking about the suggestions, he said the lawmakers have proposed to reject the agreement as it was signed behind the closed doors.

On Sunday, the WJ committees on defense, internal security and international relations had summoned the NSC’s adviser and the NDS chief. However, Atmar was on foreign trip while Nabil appeared before the committees.

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