Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Some Countries Increasing Influence in Afghanistan: NATO

Some Countries Increasing Influence  in Afghanistan: NATO

KABUL - A NATO official on Thursday said the military alliance was concern about increasing influence of Pakistan, Iran and Russia in Afghanistan.
The military official with the Resolute Support mission told Afghan journalists here during a meeting that Pakistan, Iran and Russia were seeking to have more influence in Afghanistan and thus they had enhanced their movements and activities in the country.
He expressed concern over the alleged provision of weapons to insurgents by Iran and Russia; however, he said, it couldn’t be confirmed yet.
The NATO official claimed Taliban’s coordinated attacks would decrease in next two months; however, he said, the rebels would switch to other tactics as suicide bombings, landmines emplacement, and assassinations of prominent figures.
He said Afghan forces’ offensives against militants were excellent this year and Taliban’s attacks during the same period were unsuccessful because they failed to capture big cities.
According to him, most of civilian casualties resulted from Taliban attacks. He said foreign troops’ air raids on insurgents had also been increased recently and the move helped Afghan forces on the ground to a great extent during fighting.
The NATO official claimed the US new strategy announcement and foreign forces’ stay in Afghanistan had badly affected and lowered the morale of Taliban insurgents.
He said insurgents had sustained heavy casualties during attacks staged by them in some areas, adding Taliban might opt to sporadic activities in winter in order to show themselves active.
According to him, the Taliban devised new policy every winter and they might do so this winter as well.
“Daesh is active in some eastern areas of Afghanistan,” he said,” adding they had not seen any cooperation among Daesh and Taliban so far.
However, they were aware of clashes erupting among Daesh and Taliban in Sar-i-Pul province and some other areas.
He said Daesh had been unable to find a foothold for itself in Ghor and Jawzjan provinces like it had been unsuccessful in Nangarhar province. “Many Daesh affiliates in Ghor are Uzbekistanis.”
He further went on to say that a number of Taliban leaders had come to Afghanistan this year for mobilizing and boosting morale of their fighters; however, he knew nothing about Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah’s visit to Helmand province.
He said he could say nothing about Pakistan’s policy towards insurgents in the long-run but added the country had not changed its stance towards Taliban in short-term.
NATO says the Afghan Air Force’s strengthening and equipping has been accelerated and coordination among air forces and ground forces has increased. Afghan forces for the first time were able to airdrop goods to their colleagues in June this year.
The NATO’s resolute support mission said the Afghan Air Forces’ duties had currently increased by three-fold and performance six-fold as compared to past three years.
During the same period, airstrikes by Afghan forces enhanced by 10 times and the level would reach 50 folds in the next six years
The source said Afghanistan would have 170 gunships in the next six years and old choppers would be replaced by new ones.
The NATO official said the Afghan government had taken good steps in combating corruption, but they weren’t enough.
He said a number of lower ranks officials were indulged in corruption for survival and they were facilitated in this regard by high ranking officials
NATO called efforts against corruption made by the President, Attorney General’s Office, Judicial Organs, Major Crimes Task Force and other institutes as appreciable. (Pajhwok)