Kabul(August 27, 2017): Days after Donald Trump leveled allegations against Pakistan, commander of United States Forces and NATO in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has alleged that the US knows the Afghan Taliban leadership is in the Quetta and Peshawar areas and we are aware of it.
The Quetta Shura, Peshawar Shura, these shuras are identified by cities inside Pakistan, we know Afghan Taliban leaders are in these areas,” he said.
In an interview with Afghan media news, US commander Gen Nicholson said the issue of sanctuaries outside the country was serious and has to be addressed.
The US Commander said the issue of outside sanctuaries has to be addressed but that it was “being addressed in private between the US government and the Pakistani government – but it does need to be addressed.”
“I am primarily focused on activities inside Afghanistan,” but other officials are looking into the issue of sanctuaries in Pakistan, he said.
According to him, the issue of sanctuaries was a serious one and one that needed to be addressed.
Specifically asked whether the Taliban leadership in Quetta and Peshawar and other major Pakistan cities “shouldn’t sleep in peace from now on”, he said “I won’t put words in the (US) president’s mouth but he definitely conveyed this message.”
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He said: “It gives us additional capabilities. We have a direction now provided by the US policy that is being supported by NATO.” On the issue of general security in Afghanistan, Nicholson said the “civilian casualties is a real tragedy”.
However, he said that the US wants a peaceful solution in Afghanistan but that the “Taliban need to know they cannot win militarily.” He said he hopes they enter the peace process.
The US commander further added that at this moment Pak-US ties were at critical juncture and Washington and Pakistan altogether would have to control current situation.