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September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times

Terrorists cannot sustain bloody campaign forever

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels the other day that the alliance had been able to hand over responsibility for security to the Afghans forces, adding their military presence in Afghanistan is aimed at helping the local forces to pressurize the Taliban into coming to the negotiating table.
Together with the Afghans, he noted, NATO had been able to build a professional, dedicated force of Afghan police and soldiers, who can deal with attacks from the Taliban and other terrorist groups. 
Stoltenberg promised continued support for training Afghan Special Operation forces and help them build a strong air force. Instead of conducting big combat operations, the NATO troops were helping the Afghans to fight terrorism and Taliban themselves, the secretary-general explained. 
Meanwhile, he reiterated NATO was trying to create the conditions for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and send a message to Taliban that they would not win on the battlefield.The insurgents would have to negotiate with the Afghan government, he maintained, saying the NATO presence was needed to send that message to the Taliban.
The Taliban insurgency has entered its 17th year in Afghanistan, but their prospects for control of the country are as gloomy as they were when the group was toppled in 2001 by a U.S.-led international coalition for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
Despite considerable Pakistan and some other regional countries’ supports and a massive drawdown of foreign troops from Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban are not in a position to fight and overthrow the democratic government in Kabul. Part of the explanation is the international support for the government of Afghanistan, and lack of national support for the Taliban group.
Some media reports and a series of surveys conducted over the years to capture Afghans’ perception of the ongoing developments in the country indicate very low public support for the Taliban. Their staunch sympathizers comprise less than five percent of the Afghan population, whereas encountering the Taliban is the worst nightmare for 95 percent of Afghans, who see the insurgents as the biggest threat to their safety and lives.
Furthermore, in recent years, ordinary Afghans tired of the Taliban’s tyranny picked up arms and drove them out of their localities in different parts of the country.
The Taliban and their terrorist affiliates, which have been waging war against the Afghan people, cannot sustain their unpopular bloody camping forever as the Afghan security forces backed by international community would spare no effort to suppress them and bring about a safe and sound environment for the Afghan masses.
Meanwhile pressuring Pakistan and some other countries supporting militant outfits, including Taliban tochange course will be the last nail in the coffin of the Taliban and their terrorist affiliates fighting in Afghanistan.

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