Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Afghan intelligence outfit National Directorate of Security (NDS) have signed an accord for cooperation, which is aimed at bolstering fight against terrorism. But the fallout in Afghanistan has been quite dramatic, as many in places of political power see Pakistan as an arch nemesis. The deal reflects growing cooperation between the two countries after years of mistrust. The bilateral acrimony was mostly due to the rivalry between the two intelligence agencies and while at the official level this rivalry is dissipating, politics is a different matter. Additionally, the spike in violence in Afghanistan following the start of Taliban’s Spring Offensive had fuelled doubts about Pakistan’s cooperation. A senior member of the Afghan parliament ordered the international relations committee to summon NDS officials for a grilling over the intelligence-sharing deal on Monday.

President Ghani has upset hawks by sending Afghan cadets for training at Pakistan’s officer academy, diverting scarce military resources to fight Pakistani militants hiding in Afghanistan and visiting the Pakistan’s army chief in Rawalpindi in November 2014. Afghan pride is hurting and throwing tantrums. Pakistan is being blamed for all the ills of terrorism it is facing now (in quite the same way that we blame RAW for attacks on our soil). Meanwhile Ghani is trying to be pragmatic easing unnecessary threats and tensions between the two countries through diplomacy.

There will always be doubts. That is part of the game of international relations. If the Afghan opposition wants the people and the county to feel secure, it cant expect Pakistan to provide that security. All it can hope for is that the deals that are being made are in the mutual benefit of the two states, that is the only way any deal works. In the international state system states are selfish, and the tools to be used to ensure power and security are money, guns and espionage. There will be no hand-out to Afghanistan from Pakistan, charity should not be expected. We can only promise them cooperation, and agree that we both want a peaceful future.