Afghan spy chief resigns over Ghani’s remarks in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Head of Afghanistan’s premier intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Rahmatullah Nabil resigned on Thursday, hours after he criticised the remarks of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the opening session of Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad.

In an angrily worded post on Facebook that appeared before the resignation letter was made public, Nabil made clear his frustration with efforts to work with Pakistan, which many in Afghanistan accuse of controlling the Taliban. He alleged “Pakistan is supporting the anti-government elements in Afghanistan.”

Afghan media reported President Ghani had accepted his resignation.

Nabil, who has lived as a refugee in Pakistan and studied in Peshawar, was reportedly upset over the reports that talks between Afghan government and Taliban could resume soon.

He was among the few officials who were not in favour of the reconciliation process.

“Innocent Afghan civilians were martyred and beheaded in Kandahar airfield, Khanshin district of Helmand, Takhar and Badakhshan when the same Nawaz Sharif was delivering his speech, once calling the enemy of Afghanistan as Pakistan’s enemy,” the online Afghan news serviceKhaama quoted him as saying.

The intelligence chief also criticised President Ghani for his remarks in Islamabad.

The resignation came days after the Afghan president sacked intelligence officials in Kunduz province due to their failure in gathering information about the Taliban attack.

The NDS was also not able to prevent the Taliban deadly attack on Kandahar airport on Tuesday that killed nearly 40 people.

Reportedly, the former NDS chief had also stayed away from the signing of a cooperation agreement with Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

In May this year, top intelligence agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed on an MoU to boost anti-terror cooperation and share intelligence.

The resignation raises fresh questions over the leadership of Afghanistan’s security apparatus, which has struggled to contain a Taliban insurgency that has gained momentum since international forces ended most combat operations last year.

The letter also clouds prospects for a coordinated effort to resume peace talks including both the Taliban and Pakistan that were broken off this year.


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