Political differences should not impact security: Gen. Nicholson
KANDAHAR (Pajhwok): NATO and US forces top commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson on Thursday said the Taliban could not win through the war and should appear for talks.
The alliance resolute support commander arrived in Kandahar City, the capital of southern Kandahar province, along with a delegation that included Afghan Defence Minister Gen. Abdullah Habibi and Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid.
The delegation held talks with the Kandahar governor, military officials and public representatives from Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan and Zabul provinces about the security situation in the zone.
Gen. Nicholson said the Afghan forces had many achievements this year and they proved effective leadership in the war against militants.
As an example, he said the Afghan forces were able to reopen the Kandahar-Uruzgan highway, which had been closed by the insurgents, after rendering many sacrifices.
The US general said the Afghan forces were bravely fighting against armed rebels in a number of provinces, particularly in Helmand, to ensure that the people lived in peace.
However, he said the conflict remained fierce and the fighting season had not yet over. “You know we killed Mullah Mansour because he was a hurdle to the peace. Similarly, hundreds of Daesh affiliates and leaders have been killed in Nangarhar province recently.”
This he cited a reason behind warning the Taliban that they could not succeed through violence. “I hope some militants understand they can achieve nothing through the war, they should put down their weapons and join the peace process.”
John Nicholson said the United States and its NATO allies had pledged continued military and financial assistance with Afghanistan at the Warsaw summit.
“The United States of America and NATO standby you,” he said, urging tribal elders and influential figures in southern provinces to support their security forces.
“There must be political differences in some matters, but the differences should not affect the security,” he said.
He asked local officials and tribal elders to share their problems with them in order they could jointly work on the issues with Afghan officials.
Kandahar Governor Humayun Azizi said the security situation in Kandahar was better when compared to several other provinces despite insurgent threats in 10 districts.
He said the Taliban had been trying this year to close the Kandahar-Uruzgan highway, destabilize districts bordering Helmand and breach the security cordon, but all their attempts were frustrated by security forces.
The governor said the provincial customs department had collected two billion afghanis extra than the targeted revenue.
But he said roads leading to districts were in rundown condition and 60 percent people in Kandahar lacked access to health facilities and 289 of the total 420 schools were without buildings.
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