After US now NATO Chief vents out Afghan defeat frustration against Pakistan


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said alleged Taliban bases in Pakistan pose a “big challenge” to efforts aimed at bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan, according to VOA.

Speaking to reporters at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Stoltenberg said he has always raised the issue in meetings with Pakistani leaders and would continue to do so.

“We have to address the big challenge that [the] Taliban, the insurgents are working also out of bases in Pakistan. And we have raised that several times. It is extremely important that all countries in the region support efforts of the Afghan national unity government and that no country provide any kind of sanctuary for the terrorists,” said the Nato chief.

He insisted if regional countries deny sanctuaries to insurgents the fight against the Taliban and terrorist groups in Afghanistan “will gain so much.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua while briefing a parliamentary committee on foreign affairs yesterday (Tuesday) said Islamabad has informed Washington recently that all areas in Pakistan have been cleared of terrorists.

Pakistani forces will take immediate action if the US provides actionable intelligence regarding the presence of terrorists in the country, Janjua reiterated.

She continued that terrorists were operating not out of Pakistan, but from across the Afghan border.

“In Afghanistan, 45 per cent of the country is not under government control, which is why the Haqqani network and other terror groups do not need a safe haven in Pakistan,” she insisted.

Stoltenberg said Nato would continue and strengthen its financial and military training support to Afghanistan, saying the number of foreign troops in the country would be increased from around 13,000 to a new level of around 16,000 troops.

“We will not go back in combat operations but we need to strengthen the train and assist and advise mission, the Resolute Support mission, to help the Afghans break the stalemate, to send a clear message to the Taliban, to the insurgents that they will not win on the battleground,” said the Nato chief.

The only way the Taliban can achieve anything, he said, is by sitting down at the negotiating table. The Afghan Taliban, however, have refused to engage in talks until all foreign forces withdraw from the war-torn country.

They have instead intensified attacks against Afghan security forces, particularly since US President Donald Trump announced a new strategy for breaking the military stalemate in Afghanistan.