High-level Afghan intel delegation in Pak for talks
Islamabad: A high-level Afghan intelligence delegation is in Pakistan for talks on anti-terror cooperation as part of efforts by the two uneasy neighbours to improve ties ahead of the drawdown of foreign forces in Afghanistan.
The Deputy Director of Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, General Hesamuddin, is leading the five-member delegation that will discuss various issues with Pakistani intelligence officials, an Afghan diplomatic source said.
During the two-day talks, the officials will focus on cooperation between the intelligence agencies of the two countries, the source said.
"The two sides also discussed their cooperation in the Afghan reconciliation process," he said.
Other sources said both sides had reviewed the investigation of last month's suicide attack on Afghan intelligence chief Asadullah Khalid in Kabul.
Khalid was critically injured when he was targeted by a Taliban suicide bomber posing as an emissary.
A day after the attack, President Hamid Karzai had claimed that the bomber had come from the Pakistani city of Quetta.
Karzai had demanded an investigation into the attack on Khalid, a close confidante who is now being treated in an American hospital.
A Pakistani source too confirmed the visit of the Afghan team and said that the talks "reflect Pakistan's quest to boost intelligence cooperation with Afghanistan".
The visit came just days after Pakistan confirmed it had freed 26 Afghan Taliban prisoners, including former justice minister Nooruddin Turabi and several former governors.
Afghan authorities consider the issue of the release of Taliban prisoners as "incomplete".
Afghan authorities want details of the freed Afghan Taliban, including where have they gone after their release and why and when they were arrested, an Afghan official said on condition of anonymity.
All the freed Taliban prisoners were not handed over to Afghan authorities and they were allowed to go anywhere they desired under a safe passage mechanism agreed on by Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US in April last year.
The US too has asked Pakistan to provide it with information on some of the freed Taliban leaders and several others expected to be freed in the coming days.