US general blames Pakistan for ‘sheltering’ militants despite Trump’s policy

  • Gen Nicholson says senior Taliban leaders were based in Pakistan

WASHINGTON – A top US general in Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of allegedly supporting the militants, despite the President Donald Trump’s tough stance against Islamabad.

General Nicholson, who is commanding US forces in Afghanistan, talking to reporters on Tuesday said that he had not seen any change in Pakistan’s behaviour towards militants.

He said, “We have been very direct and very clear with the Pakistanis… we have not seen those changes implemented yet”.

“We are hoping to see those changes, we are hoping to work together with the Pakistanis going forward to eliminate terrorists who are crossing” the border, Nicholson said.

The US general claimed that senior Taliban leaders have shelter in Pakistan, while lower-level leadership was present in Afghanistan.

It is not the first time as the US officials have long been blaming Pakistan for allegedly not taking action against militant groups, including Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network, which carry out attack in Afghanistan.

In August, President Donald Trump unleashed his policy of ramping up pressure on Pakistan, a close ally of US, in a bid to fully implement the revamped Afghan war strategy.

Accusing Islamabad of harbouring “agents of chaos, violence, and terror” the tycoon-turned-president clarified to increase pressure on the country to stop any re-emergence of safe havens in order to gain regional peace, besides announcing an increase of US troops in Afghanistan.

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However, Pakistan’s military and civil leadership rejected the claims and took a hard stance against the Trump’s policy.

The military leadership clarified that the country had taken all possible steps to weed out the terrorism in the region.

“Let it come,” Major General Asif Ghafoor — the Pakistani military spokesman — had told reporters. “Even if it comes… Pakistan shall do whatever is best in the national interest.”

The US official expressed hope that relations between the two countries could improve after a kidnapped US-Canadian couple and their three children were freed in Pakistan in October after the couple was abducted in neighbouring Afghanistan.