Afghanistan

The Commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission and the US forces in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson says Afghanistan has ‘unprecedented’ opportunity for peace.

Speaking with the reporters in Washington via teleconference from Kabul, Gen. Nicholson said “For the first time in 17 years, the Afghan people, the Afghan security forces and the Taliban all celebrated Eid al-Fitr together in peace.”

“There is an unprecedented opportunity for peace right now, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is working to take advantage of it,” “Nicholson said, adding that “He offered a second cease-fire on Aug. 19, and while this first cease-fire was in response to the [body of religious scholars’] call for peace, this second call represents the entirety of Afghan society.”

In the meantime, Gen. Nicholson expressed concerns regarding the freedom the Taliban enjoys while travelling between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In response to a question regarding the Taliban havens in Pakistan, Gen. Nicholson said the Taliban militants free move to Pakistan and treat their injured comrades in the hospitals of the neighboring country.

However, he said the Afghan government and the newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan are engaged in talks.

Gen. Nicholson expressed that the ongoing talks would yield positive results to expand bilateral cooperation between the two countries.