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Former US commander: Threat of civil war looms over Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL: Gen. David Petraeus, former commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan joins the critics of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and warns that the hastily decision made by the White House to withdraw soldiers after 20 years, would spark another civil war in the country already hit by war.

In an online meeting held by the Middle East Institute on Wednesday, Petraeus mentioned bad governance, widespread corruption and political disunity in Afghanistan, saying that the US withdrawal helped the current situation worsen.

“I am sorry about the withdrawal decision that we are taking in this way and I am afraid a very violent civil war will erupt that will result the migration of millions of people and the loss of the lives of those people who helped us,” the US army general said.

“Wrong steps were taken in the battlefield. Lots of bad governance at the regional and national level and corruption were big issues for years. Political disunity caused insecurity, but in total the US policy over withdrawal brought the current situation.”

Petraeus also mentioned Taliban’s safe havens in Pakistan as another challenge.

“They (Taliban) have sanctuaries in Pakistan and their leadership called Quetta shura (council) is based in the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Another shura is in Peshawar of Pakistan. The Haqqani network and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan are based in the tribal regions of Pakistan. The presence of these fighters is the biggest challenge.”

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