AT Monitoring Desk-WASHINGTON: The commander of the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan said Tuesday that Afghan forces were tested in 2016 and they prevailed.
“It was an important year for us. We began the year with a peace process. The Taliban and others admitted to joining the quadrilateral peace process,” Gen John Nicholson said.
“Four or five meetings were held, where Pakistani leaders promised to deliver,” he recalled, saying the Taliban declared all of a sudden in April to launch an offensive against the Afghan government.
After a series of suicide attacks hit Kabul and other parts of the country, the Afghan government and security forces had to get down to business and then went hard after the Taliban.
“Also from the US side, the American troops sought permission of President Barack Obama to kill Mullah Mansoor and we killed him,” he said.
Nicholson was speaking at an event at the Afghan embassy to present the inaugural “Veteran Ambassador Award” to Michael G Waltz, former commander of US Special Forces and advisor for South Asia to Vice President Dick Cheney.
It is for the first time that the government of Afghanistan has instituted such an award. Afghan Ambassador to Washington D.C. Hamdullah Mohib said it would be presented to an Afghan veteran every year. “I am humbled by this prestigious award.”
Nicholson said the Afghanistan-Pakistan region had the highest concentration of terrorist groups in the world. As many as 22 terrorist groups operated there, he added.
The event was attended by top officials from the Pentagon, former US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, and eminent Afghan Americans.