The US knows about the Afghan Taliban leadership presence in Quetta and Peshawar city of Pakistan, commander of US Forces and Nato in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, has said. The US commander said the issue of terrorist sanctuaries outside Afghanistan was serious and needed to be addressed.
“Support for terrorists and insurgents has to be reduced, has to be stopped,” he told Tolo News in an interview on Saturday.
“I am primarily focused on activities inside Afghanistan but other officials are looking into the issue of sanctuaries in Pakistan,” he said.
“The Quetta Shura, Peshawar Shura, these shuras are identified by cities inside Pakistan, we know Afghan Taliban leaders are in these areas.”
Nicholson said that following US President Donald Trump’s announcement of new Afghanistan and South Asia strategy, he as a commander had a new policy “One based on conditions and not time.”
Trump, in his first address as the commander-in-chief, called for more troop deployment and India’s role in Afghanistan while lambasting Pakistan for offering safe havens to “agents of chaos”.
Asked if he saw Taliban as a terrorist organisation, Nicholson said: “They do terrorist activities and enable terrorists.” He pointed out Taliban’s links in the past with Al Qaeda.
Hoping the Taliban would enter the peace process with Washington, Nicholson said the military would continue to put pressure on their sanctuaries inside and outside Afghanistan.