Pakistan dismisses US military commander's remarks on Taliban

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/1 8:41:13

Pakistan on Thursday rejected as "highly unwarranted and unacceptable" remarks by Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of US Forces and NATO in Afghanistan, that the Afghan Taliban leadership operates from the Pakistani cities of Quetta and Peshawar.

Nicholson told Afghanistan's Tolo TV in Kabul at the weekend that the US knows the Taliban leaders are living in the Pakistani areas.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry's spokesman Nafees Zakaria rejected the remarks by the American General during his weekly briefing in Islamabad.

"Pakistan has strongly rejected all allegations and insinuations regarding the presence of any safe havens of terrorists inside Pakistan. US Gen Nicholson's remarks, therefore, are highly unwarranted and unacceptable," the spokesman said.

When asked about Pakistan's response to US President Donald Trump's policy focus on a military solution to the Afghan problem for now, he said Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the complex Afghan conflict.

"This is a lesson discernable from the long history of Afghanistan. Pakistan has instead advocated for an 'Afghan led and Afghan owned' political solution which in our estimation offers the best prospects of peace in the region," he went on to say.

The spokesman called for involvement of all the stake holders pursuing a viable and workable political settlement in Afghanistan, adding that the region will continue to suffer from instability if efforts were not made to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan.

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