US top military commander in Afghanistan said the Trump administration is “aware of presence of the Afghan Taliban leadership in Quetta and Peshawar”.
In an interview with TOLO news, Commander for US Forces and Nato in Afghanistan General John W Nicholson said he is “primarily focused on activities inside Afghanistan” but the issue of ‘sanctuaries’ was being addressed in ‘private’ between Pakistan and US governments.
“The Quetta Shura, Peshawar Shura – these shuras are identified by cities inside Pakistan, we know Afghan Taliban leaders are in these areas,” he added.
The US commander reiterated support for Washington’s new policy in the region. The policy, based on fulfillment of conditions, gave the military “additional capabilities”, he said. “We have a direction now provided by the US policy that is being supported by NATO.”
Gen Nicholson stressed that failure in Afghanistan would compromise US’s national security.
Dwelling on the security situation in Afghanistan, Nicholson said the US will keep increasing pressure on Taliban inside and outside the country. “It is our mandate to put military pressure on Taliban,” he said. “Taliban need to know they cannot win militarily.”
The general did not rule out a diplomatic solution but revealed the US will work with Afghan authorities to increase its military capabilities.
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