News / Asia

    Pakistan and Afghan Intelligence Chiefs Hold Talks

    FILE -  Major General Rizwan Akhtar arrives for a meeting, at the India-Pakistan Wagah Border Post, July 1, 2012.
    FILE - Major General Rizwan Akhtar arrives for a meeting, at the India-Pakistan Wagah Border Post, July 1, 2012.
    Ayaz Gul

    Afghanistan’s spy chief visited Pakistan Thursday for bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterparts on building mutual trust for effective intelligence sharing and counterterrorism cooperation.

    Intelligence sources told VOA that Masoud Andarabi, the head National Directorate of Security (NDS), met with Lt. General Rizwan Akhtar, the Director General of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

    The Pakistani side said it presented “evidence” to show fugitive Pakistani militants are using Afghan soil to attack Pakistan.

    Bacha Khan University attack

    Islamabad alleges the deadly January 20 Bacha Khan University attack in the northwestern town of Charsada was planned and directed from the eastern Afghan border region.

    At least 21 people, mostly students, were killed and all four attackers were shot dead in a firefight with security forces.

    FILE -Emergency responders on scene of attack at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan, Jan. 20, 2016. (Photo: N. Takar / VOA Deewa)
    FILE -Emergency responders on scene of attack at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan, Jan. 20, 2016. (Photo: N. Takar / VOA Deewa)

    Pakistani officials, citing phone intercepts and interrogation from detained suspected facilitators, said the carnage was masterminded by Khalifa Umer Mansoor, commander of a splinter Pakistani Taliban faction, who is allegedly sheltering on the Afghan side of the border. There was no immediate reaction from Afghan authorities, though Kabul has already denied charges its soil is being used the plan attacks against Pakistan.

    Mistrust and suspicions

    Mutual terror allegations, years of mistrust and suspicions have marred bilateral relations and prevented Pakistan and Afghanistan from establishing closer security ties to fight terrorism.

    Separately, a high-level Afghan military delegation visited Pakistani army headquarters in Rawalpindi for talks on security and border management issues.

    The crucial military and intelligence chiefs’ talks happened ahead of Saturday’s meeting in Islamabad of senior diplomats from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China to promote Afghan peace and reconciliation efforts.

    Afghan peace talks

    The four-way contact group has held two meetings since early January and has been tasked with laying the ground for resurrecting direct peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives to end hostilities in Afghanistan.

    The insurgent group, which is allegedly using sanctuaries in Pakistan, has not yet indicated whether it supports the four-way official peace process, or intends to come to the table for negotiations with Kabul.

    Afghan and U.S. officials insist Pakistan, particularly its spy agency, ISI, can influence the insurgents to push them to the negotiating table.

    Pakistani officials, however, deny suggestions they control the affairs of the Taliban, insisting Islamabad can only use its "limited influence" with the Afghan insurgency to persuade it to come to the peace talks.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora