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Kabul, May 20: The signing of an agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan envisaging intelligence sharing between the two neighbours has sparked off controversy with former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai expressing deep concern at the development. In a statement here on Wednesday, Karzai termed the signing of the MoU in this regard as against national interests. (Read: Indian embassy in Kabul condemns terror attack) Also Read - Protesters Raise Placards of PM Modi, Other World Leaders at Pro-freedom Rally in Pakistan's Sindh

Karzai called on Afghan unity government leaders to immediately cancel the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and urged preventing in future the signing of such agreements “which are against the national interests of the country”, Khaama press reported. Among those opposing the signing of the agreement was Rahmatullah Nabil, chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) — the Afghan intelligence agency, reports here suggested. Also Read - Two Afghan Women Supreme Court Judges Shot Dead in Kabul

Sources privy to the development said on Sunday that the agreement with ISI was signed by deputy NDS chief Ghulam Hussain Fakhri three days ago. According to the MoU, ISI will train and equip the NDS in its functioning. In addition, Afghanistan and Pakistan will fight terrorism jointly and both institutions will jointly interrogate those accused of any terror incident within their respective countries.

While the MoU envisages training of Afghan intelligence operatives by Pakistan’s ISI, the Afghan NDS officials have rejected the clause. NDS spokesman Haseeb Sediqi said the MoU signed with Pakistan was not against the national interests of the country and the agreement was concluded based on previous mutual cooperation between the two nations.

However, officials from the previous government maintain that no such MoU was signed in the past. Earlier, Afghan Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar on Tuesday denounced the MoU and said there was no justification for signing any agreement with an intelligence service that has worked to undermine peace and stability in Afghanistan for so long.

“Pakistan is an enemy to Afghanistan and will never develop friendship with us,” Muslimyar said. “Pakistan has always plotted to destroy Afghanistan and will continue to do so… how can we afford to send our security forces for training in that country,” he wondered.