KABUL: After blistering criticism by United States (US) President Donald Trump accusing Pakistan of harbouring terrorists on its soil, the commander of US Forces and NATO in Afghanistan General John Nicholson on Saturday said that Afghan Taliban leadership has taken shelter in Quetta and Peshawar.
“US knows the Afghan Taliban leadership resides in two of Pakistani provincial capitals; Quetta and Peshawar,” he asserted while giving an interview to Afghan media outlet on Saturday evening.
Stressing on curbing support to Afghan insurgents and terrorists, Gen Nicholson said that the issue of outside sanctuaries has to be addressed. “Support for terrorists has to be stopped,” he emphasized.
He said that he is primarily focused on activities inside Afghanistan but officials concerned are overseeing issues of terrorists’ sanctuaries in Pakistan.
“The Quetta Shura and Peshawar Shura are identified by cities inside Pakistan, we know Afghan Taliban leaders are in these areas,” he said.
He said the matter of terrorists’ ‘safe havens’ is a serious issue which needs to be addressed. “It was being addressed in private between the US government and the Pakistani government – but it does need to be addressed,” he added.
Responding a question, he emphasized action must be taken against Afghan insurgents taking shelter in Pakistan, adding that the negotiations between two governments – US and Pakistani government – are underway. “US wants a peaceful solution in Afghanistan,” he said while anticipating that the Taliban would enter the peace process.
It merits to mention here that US has been in war with Afghan Taliban for last 16 years but the NATO along with US forces still putting efforts to curb Taliban control in Afghanistan.