US commander supports dialogue with Taliban

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People hold a rally to demand the withdrawal of Georgian troops from Afghanistan, in Tbilisi

The commander of international forces in Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford, has said that dialogue with the Taliban are essential if real peace is to establish in the war-raved country. He said the international community should look for different options to support Afghanistan even after withdrawal of the international troops from the volatile country by the end of next year. He urged the international community not to turn their back on Afghanistan as all the progress achieved during the last decade against militancy and terrorism would go waste. The general is of the view that basic rights of Afghans cannot be protected without effective support from foreign politicians.

The United States plans to pull out troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year and hand over security of the country to Afghan National Army and police. Given attacks by terrorists and volatile situation of the country, it seems almost impossible for Afghan security forces to be able to handle all these issues single handedly. The international community including the United States has been mulling a plan to leave behind a considerable number of international troops after 2014 to help and train Afghan security personnel. Gen Dunford in his interview to BBC revealed that five main bases of international troops would remain active in Afghanistan even after withdrawal of the international troops.

The United States and its allies fear that a civil war may erupt in the violence-wracked country after withdrawal of the international troops. Therefore, the decision of keeping five bases active in the country is a welcome move in the positive direction. However, there has been no official word on it from Afghan government. It is yet to be seen that how Afghan government responds to different measures being planned for the country. In one of his recent visits to the United States, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has promised to look into the issue of leaving behind a considerable number of international troops in Afghanistan after withdrawal of the international troops. In fact, he has demanded some conditions for it like handing over of different prisons in Afghanistan to local authorities etc that the United States has fulfilled.

One thing is for sure that if the international community wants to see stable and prosperous Afghanistan after 2014, they would have to pledge complete and unconditional support for Afghan people. The war against insurgency has cost billions of dollars besides thousands of casualties; so the international community should heed to advice of Gen Dunford for prosperous Afghanistan and the whole region. Some may argue that if the international troops failed to eliminate militancy from Afghanistan in around twelve years, how Afghan security forces could handle the menace just with support of the international community.

Source: AllVoices

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