ISLAMABAD: Intelli­gence agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan will hold talks in Kabul on Thursday to try to reduce the trust deficit between the two neighbours.

Director General ISI Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar would travel to Afghanistan for a meeting with the acting chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Masoud Andarabi.

The US is facilitating the meeting which would also be attended by Chinese officials as observers.

The meeting which earlier was planned to be held in Islamabad, comes ahead of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group meeting comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, US and China scheduled for Feb 6.

The intelligence talks, an official said, were separate from the quadrilateral mechanism, even though the parleys were expected to impact the reconciliation effort, as well.

The meeting is taking place as Pakistan had called on Afghanistan to act against the terrorist group involved in Jan 20 Bacha Khan University attack. Islamabad alleges that terrorists planned and directed the terrorist activity using Afghan soil and telecom infrastructure.

It would also be the first time that the two intelligence agencies would be directly talking to each other about their relationship since a cooperation deal signed between them in May last year was prevented from materialising due to a stiff opposition in Kabul.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2016

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