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Pakistan, Afghanistan Sign Intelligence Cooperation Pact

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, right, embraces Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after a news conference in Kabul on May 12.

The intelligence agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to cooperate with each other in their fight against Islamist militants, apparently ending years of hostile relations between the two organizations.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, a Pakistani military spokesman said on May 18.

The two agencies will share intelligence and coordinate operations against Taliban militants under the plan, which came out of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Kabul last week.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have over the years traded accusations of using Taliban militants as proxies to destabilize each other, but the relationship has improved significantly since Afghan President Ashraf Ghani took over last year.

But the pact met with skepticism from Afghan lawmakers on May 18, who questioned whether Pakistan can be trusted to hold up its end of the deal at a time of escalating violence by the Taliban.

Based on reporting by dpa, Indian Express, and Voice of America