Memorandum of Capitulation

by Akram Gizabi /

July 1, 2015 |

Memorandum of Capitulation


Recently the Afghan government signed a security deal with Pakistan to cooperate in countering security threats to the two neighbors. Since the beginning, the agreement was fraught with controversy. There are several issues why this so called MoU raises serious concerns both inside and outside the Afghan government and why a lot of people, even those who are in the government, are opposed to it.

One- the agreement was allegedly reached between Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan ISI without the necessary consultations with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah who, as Chief Executive Officer, is part of the National Unity Government (NUG). First vice-president of Chief Executive Office told Afghan Tolo TV that Dr. Abdullah was left in the dark and he only heard the details from former president Karzai.

Second- most Afghans, including the higher echelons of NUG believe that Pakistan ISI is complicit in the terror campaign unleashed against Afghans since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Pakistan, as the creator of the Taliban, has given shelter to the Quetta Shura led by Mulla Omar and has helped create the Haqqani network, one of the most vicious and notorious terror groups fighting both the Afghan government and the coalition forces. This group which is armed, financed, trained and directed by ISI is also involved in the bombings and attacks on foreign embassies notably India and the US as well as guesthouses and places frequented by expatriates. “In 2008, the United States intercepted communications between Haqqani commanders with ISI officers, who directed attacks on its embassy, and that of India, in Kabul.” (P. Swami, Indian Express, May 19, 2015). Therefore, the deal with ISI according to most Afghans would be tantamount to a deal with the enemy.

Third-the content of the agreement centers on the issues that are practically alien to Afghans:

1-      The agreement stipulates that ISI and National Directorate of Security (NDS) would jointly work in molding public opinion and narrative about Pakistan and Afghanistan. What this means is that they would try to shape the thinking for Afghans and Pakistanis and create a favorite atmosphere towards the two governments. This in effect is indoctrination and deception of the population of the two countries.

It is said that those who oppose this process would be considered saboteurs and must be stopped. It puts the Afghans under more scrutiny and repression and any opposition would be dealt with harshly.

2-      NDS and the ISI would work against the enemy intelligence agencies. This is clearly aimed at India’s RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), for as far as Pakistan is concerned, there is only one enemy security agency and that is it. Afghanistan has no issue with RAW, never had and probably never will have. Pakistan, however, has had problem with India since its inception in 1947 and considers RAW to be a scape-goat for any ills that befall the country from the insurgency in Balochistan to the rise in food and fuel prices. Pakistan wants to do its dirty work thru Afghanistan.

3-      The two countries would jointly work against separatists. Afghanistan has had no separatist movement ever. Pakistan, on the other hand, has had several separatist movements since its creation, from Pashtunistan to Kashmir, to Balochistan. At some point there was even a movement for separation of Sind Province called Sindu Desh that worked for creation of a separate state. Of course, Bangladesh successfully seceded from Pakistan in 1972 with an enormous cost on human lives.  Here also Pakistan wants to sort out its problems thru Afghanistan which has no issue of separatism itself.

4-      The co-signers agree that Pakistan would equip NDS and train its personnel. This is more of a joke than reality. How can a spy agency that for ages has been actively undermining peace and security in Afghanistan and considers it a hostile neighbor, would honestly train and equip its security? “I can understand why the NDS would be so angry about this deal”, said Vikram Sood, a former chief of India’s Research and Analysis Wing. “Its being asked to give up its trump card, and display its hand, with no guarantee its going to get anything in return”. (P. Swami, Indian Express, May 19, 2015).The Afghans believe that whatever that has befallen Afghanistan since the Marxist coup of 1978 and indeed briefly before that during the reign of the late president Daud is by Pakistani design. The words of General Akhtar, the late ISI chief resonates throughout Afghanistan when he said “Kabul Must Burn.” Fortunately, his only wish didn’t come to fruition to pray in the ruins of the Afghan capital.

On the subject of equipping the NSD, how could Pakistan, itself dependent on much of its finance and hardware on Arab and Western countries, help Afghanistan?

5-      Also agreed upon is a provision that Pakistan would take part in the interrogation of the terrorists. Again can anyone with his right mind think that Pakistan would allow Afghanistan to even approach Mulla Omar’s cronies, let alone interrogate them? Who actually would be the terrorists? Those whom Afghanistan considers terrorists such as theTaliban and the Haqqani network are created, supported and still sheltered by Pakistan. Or they are the ones that are created, trained, financed and armed by Pakistan as its strategic assets , such as the LeJ, LeT, to name a few or they are coming from somewhere else from another planet?  Afghanistan has never been in the business of raising terrorists.

Fourth-now comes the news that the agreement was made possible thru bribing of some greedy and not so patriotic Afghans who were paid cash by Pakistan. Farouq Wardak, a senior minister in Karzai’s government has revealed that three high official of the Afghan government were paid a total of 70 million dollars to agree to the signature of the document. (, June 21, 2015). Wardak also told Afghan Tolo TV that he knows and has proof that three Afghans each were paid 40, 20 and 10 million dollars in Dubai to agree to seal the deal. He did not reveal any names or ranks of the individuals but promised to do so in the future, saying he will save some of the last bullets for his own protection.

Most Afghans who are privy to the deal including former president Karzai, former directors of NSD and prominent members of parliament are opposed to it. The current director of NSD refused to sign it and instead sent his deputy. Some have called it treacherous and on the whole there has been a chorus of calls for its abrogation.

So in a nutshell: Can the deal work? The answer from most Afghans is that it is highly unlikely. The deal is made with ISI that most Afghans consider their sworn enemy, it is of no benefit or interest to Afghanistan and worse yet, it is sealed thru arm twisting and corruption. So in reality it is not a Memorandum of Understanding, rather it is a Memorandum of Capitulation.


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Akram Gizabi

The writer is a former VOA journalist. He is an analyst on Hazaras, Afghanistan, and South Asia. Twitter: @AGizabi

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