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No future for Taliban, but to join political process: Outgoing NATO general

KABUL: The outgoing U.S., NATO forces commander Gen. John F. Campbell said Saturday that the Taliban had no vision for the future of Afghanistan and their only chance for the future was to join political process run by the government of Afghanistan.

Speaking at his last press conference as commander for the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Campbell said that Taliban don’t believe anything to do. “They don’t believe the women’s rights, they don’t believe Afghan constitution, only they believe violence and killing of women and children,” he said.

He that the future for Taliban is exactly what president Ghani is asking them to do ‘let’s become part of political process.’

He stated that there will be “very tough fighting” in 2016. However, he said that the Taliban face financial problems, recruitment problems and leadership problems. “They are not fit all. Mullah Omar had religious credential, but Mansoor has no religious credentials.”

“I don’t see provinces falling in 2016,” the general anticipated. “But there will be very tough fight.”

A large number drawdown of coalition forces took place in 2015, he said, adding that Afghan forces took security responsibility. “We have been in train, advice and assistance role for the past one year,” he added.

Campbell said that Afghans can make sure that 2016 would not be like 2015. There could be short term reforms, reducing number of vulnerable checkpoints, creating more operation reserves and coming up with force generation cycle.

He added that the international community was committed to provide financial and long-term technical support for Afghanistan.

Pointing to Daesh (IS) presence he said: “Inside Afghanistan, we have seen Daesh row since January 2015.”

He said that they continue to work with Afghan troops on the best way to move forward fighting Daesh.

“We want the entire region to understand that terrorism doesn’t know boundaries, it doesn’t follow any rules. It only kills innocent children and women.” “So, the region has to stand against terrorism groups such as Daesh together. It is not only Afghanistan’s problem, it is a regional problem.”

The US general said that Daesh had intention to build a corps in Nangarhar province to take over Jalalabad and move into Kunar. “But they will not continue to grow.”

He believes that more military cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan would help to fight ISIS.

Campbell is expected to be replaced with the US general John Mick Nicolson.

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