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U.S. begins talks with Pakistan on tackling terror sanctuaries:General Nicholson

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Talks between U.S. and Pakistan have begun on the elimination of terror sanctuaries in the South Asian country, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said Saturday.

The dialogue comes after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized Pakistan for harbouring terrorists as he announced his administration’s strategy on Afghanistan. “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars. At the same time, they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting.”

In an exclusive with afghan TV channel  1TV, General Nicholson, the Commander of Resolute Support forces and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, echoed Trump’s statement saying “no partnership can survive sanctuaries being used from their country to attack our soldiers or the Afghan people.”

“So this conversation is going on between Washington and Islamabad about this point which we need to cooperate going forward,” Nicholson said.

He suggested that a reason why the U.S. is not winning the Afghan war is because of outside safe havens for militants.

“History tells us that it is very difficult to defeat any insurgency that has outside sanctuary. So part of this strategy to address those neighbours where this sanctuary occurs,” he said.

He said that the new strategy calls for increased pressure on the Taliban by doubling the size of Afghan Special Forces, growing the Afghan Air Force and improving the Afghan forces performance.

He stressed that the Taliban cannot win. “The enemy needs to negotiate. The sooner they realize that the sooner there will be peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

Asked about Russia and Iran’s alleged support to the Taliban, Nicholson said the U.S. government is working to build consensus in the region that stability in Afghanistan is in their interest as well.

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Muslim Global: U.S. begins talks with Pakistan on tackling terror sanctuaries:General Nicholson
U.S. begins talks with Pakistan on tackling terror sanctuaries:General Nicholson
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