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Moscow, Tehran continue to aid Taliban: Nicholson

Moscow, Tehran continue to aid Taliban: Nicholson

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Mar 19, 2018 - 19:49

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): US and NATOinfo-icon forces commander in Afghanistaninfo-icon Gen. John Nicholson on Monday accused Russia and Iran of continuing to support the Talibaninfo-icon insurgency.  

Speaking at NATO’s train and advise headquarters here, Nicholson told reporters on the eve of Nawroz, the first day of the new Afghan solar yearinfo-icon, the NATO commander alleged Russia and Iran provided training, equipment and money to the Taliban.

He added Tehran and Moscow provided support to Taliban against Daesh but they were indeed committing a huge mistake by doing so.

He said the US had launched a worldinfo-icon-wide campaign against Daesh and had strong commitment to eliminate the terrorist organization.

“Those concerned about Daesh should share their views with us, so we could launch a joint effort. They should refrain helping the Taliban.”

The US general made it clear that Russia and Iran supported the Taliban for their own interest not the Afghans’.  He believed support to terrorists was in the interest of no party.

Nicholson also lashed out at Pakistaninfo-icon for what he said not taking tangible steps against terrorist outfits and added Islamabad’s positive steps could be seen while violence in Afghanistan has not declined.

He said 80 percent of Daesh fighters were former members of the Pakistani Taliban while the remaining 20 percent were remnants of the Uzbekistan Islamic Movement (UIM).

Nicholson said US diplomatic and military contacts with Pakistan had increased in recent past, but signs of positive steps from Islamabad had not been seen so far.

He said the US and Afghan governments had handed over the lists of their demands to the Pakistani government.

 “More efforts and talks are being held behind the curtains which increase optimism as well,”  said Nicholson, who  congratulated all Afghans on the arrival of the New Year.

“There will be religious pressure applied to the Taliban with the ulemas hosted in Indonesia and elsewhere to strip away the religious legitimacy for jihadinfo-icon in Afghanistan,” said Gen. John Nicholson.

He hoped the new year would bring along stability, peace and security for the people of Afghanistan.

He thanked the Afghans for their hospitality and added foreign troops were in Afghanistan for a better future of Afghans.

He said President Ashraf Ghani had extended a positive offer to the Taliban for durable peace and stability in the Afghanistan. “We will be with you until you desire,” said the NATO forces commander.

Referring to Colombia, Nicholson said the South American state had been engulfed in conflict over the years but they managed to ink a peace accord last year.  He made it clear the Taliban would never be able to earn victory through war.

Referring to future elections in Afghanistan, the NATO commander said elections should be held on time, saying NATO and Afghan forces were ready for security of the polls.

 

nh/ma

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