Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Sunday said the recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan's intelligence service (ISI) is not practical and that it will come under review by a panel of experts who will report directly to the president.
This comes after a major public outcry erupted last week following the signing of the accord.
In a statement issued by the NDS, the agency said that in order to make the accord practical and to legitimize it a five-step process has been implemented. This process includes the following steps:
• Determine the framework, scope and authority of the agreement by Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani.
• Refine the draft text agreement by experts from various government agencies – including the NDS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chief Executive Office and the Office of the National Security Council. This team will report directly to the president.
• Discussions will be held on the draft agreement at a meeting of the National Security Council.
• A consultative meeting will be held to create a national consensus with political leaders, jihadi leaders and MPs
• Deposing of the agreement text to Pakistan
In the statement, the NDS said it is committed to putting the best interests of the country first in terms of considering such moves with foreign agencies.
According to sources, there is reportedly a six month deadline attached to this MoU in terms of bringing changes.
Sunday's statement comes after the controversial MoU was signed about 10 days ago between the NDS and ISI committing them to "intelligence sharing and complimentary and coordinated intelligence operations."
After news broke of the move, a widespread public outcry ensued – with MPs, civil society activists, political parties and jihadi leaders all slamming the move.
Even CEO Abdullah Abdullah called for amendments to be made to the MoU. His deputy Mohammad Khan said in the week that the CEO had been aware of the agreement in general but that additional clauses had been added without his knowledge.
"According to my information his Excellency Abdullah was consulted only on the draft agreement, but he remained completely unaware of some articles which were included in the agreement later on," Khan said.
On Saturday India also came out against the move and Indian National security Advisor Ajit Doval told a press conference that the recent move was based on faulty assumptions.
"What Pakistan wanted was to get an assurance and put pressure on Afghanistan, so that they will not allow their territory to be used for any security related work by India," Doval said.
"That is the crux of it. This is based on a faulty assumption that India probably uses Afghan soil or Afghan nationals for its security purposes."
India's reservations about the agreement are shared by many Afghans, who continue to distrust the ISI, which has long provided covert support for the Taliban.
Meanwhile, members of the security commission in the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) on Sunday summoned the NDS chief Rahmatullah Nabil to appear before them and answer questions. The meeting was held behind closed doors.