NATO Resolute Support Mission and United States Forces commander Gen. John Campbell on Sunday said the alliance would not support any parallel government or movement in Afghanistan.
Speaking at a press conference here, Gen. Campbell congratulated the Afghans in advance on the religious festival of Eidul Adha and said the Afghan national forces with all their resources would provide security to the countrymen during the festival.
He said the unity government in Afghanistan had successfully completed its one year. “I am very honored and privileged to have had the opertunity to work with President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah .”
Campbell said the unity government faced a number of challenges and the Kabul administration was taking measures to cope with the challenges and threats. He said the Resolute Support Mission was not supporting any parallel government or movement but backed the unity government.
He said the Afghanistan national security and defence forces supported the unity government and the Afghan people should also support their forces and government because the United States and 40 other NATO countries stood by the unity government and the Afghan forces.
He said those opposing the unity government actually opposed bright future of Afghans. To a question from this scribe, Gen. Campbell praised the Afghan security forces for successfully battling the insurgents during this fighting season.
Gen. Campbell said " The Taliban has been a tough fighting season because the Taliban understand that this is probably their last chance to do something. The Taliban have not been able to meet theirr strategice goals."
The American general said the Taliban had no significant achievement during the fighting season as they captured some areas, but were driven away by Afghan security forces. He said the Afghan forces had been giving many sacrifices in the defence of their country. Reiterating his support for the Afghan forces, Campbell said: “Wherever they need our support, we take action there.”
To a question about the Afghan peace process, the general said the stalled process would be resumed and advanced. However, he said the Taliban struggled with increased differences within in the group following the death of their supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.
Stressing political solution to the Afghanistan conflict, he said Taliban commanders had been asking each other why Omar’s death was hidden and who was their real leader now.
About the growing threat posed by the self-styled Islamic State, the NATO commander said they were monitoring the group’s activities and were collecting daily information about it.
He added the Afghan forces had strengthened enough to deal with the IS, Taliban, Haqqani network and others and the alliance was training, advising and assisting the Afghan forces.
About the tense relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gen. Campbell said distrust between the two neighbours had increased in recent years. He said the civilian and military leaderships of the two countries had been in contact a few months back, but the contact had been suspended now.
He said during his last week’s visit to Pakistan, he met Pakistan military chief Gen. Raheel Sharif and encouraged him to talk with his Afghan counterpart. He said leaders of the two countries had pledged not to allow the soil of their respective countries to be used against each other.