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We need Pakistan to help lower Afghan violence: Pentagon

We need Pakistan to help lower Afghan violence: Pentagon

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Oct 05, 2018 - 14:34

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): US Central Command Commander Gen Joseph Votel on Thursday asked Pakistaninfo-icon to use its influence over the Talibaninfo-icon in bringing them for peace talks.

“This is the message the American leaders often pass on to Pakistan”, Votel told reporters at a Pentagon news conference, asking Islamabad to ensure Taliban leaders do not use their territory to issue instructions and give directions for terrorist activities across the border in Afghanistaninfo-icon

While Pakistan has been acting against certain terrorist groups, Votel said the assessment of the US was that they were still present in Pakistan.

“As we often talk with the military leadership in Pakistan, we need them to continue to stay engaged in this. We need them to help lower the violence Afghanistan,” Votel said.

He said Pakistan should make it sure that no instructions, directions, other things from Taliban leadership reached their fighters on the ground in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan needed to ensure that there could be no movement back and forth and that fighters could not come back into Pakistan to get aid or medical care or other things.

Votel said that the Afghans were committed to securing their people as the country moved forward to conduct its first parliamentary elections in eight years later this month.

“The taste for peace and reconciliation remains strong following this summer's cease-fire, and we continue to see local reconciliation initiatives around the country,” he said.

 “To be clear, there is more to do to turn the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces into the force Afghan citizens deserve, and a challenging fight remains as we work with regional and international partners to apply the military pressure to the Taliban that will convince them that reconciliation is the only way forward,” he said.

Responding to a question, Votel said on occasions the Taliban had the ability to temporarily seize the initiative, but they did not have the ability to hold it long-term.

“They're - not going to succeed by holding small areas out around here that are going to allow them to attain a military victory. I don't think that's going to occur. And our strategy is designed to prevent that from happening,” Votel said.

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