WASHINGTON: U.S. top commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson has said that Russia, Pakistan and Iran are pursuing their own agendas with regard to the war-torn country.
In an Interview with Voice of America (VoA) Afghan service, General Nicholson said, “Russia, Pakistan and Iran are pursuing their own agendas with regard to the fragile country, complicating the fight against terrorism and extremism.”
He said, “We’re concerned about outside actors.”
Russia’s links with the Taliban also worries Nicholson, the VoA reported.
“Russia has been legitimizing the Taliban and supporting the Taliban,” he said. “Meanwhile, the Taliban supports terrorists. I’m very sorry to see Russia supporting the Taliban and narcoterrorism.”
About Iran, he said Tehran appeared to be supporting extremists in western Afghanistan. “But the situation is more complex than with Russia,” Nicholson said.
“There needs to be a relationship” between Afghanistan and Iran, which have seen a resurgence in trade that has partially compensated for a decline in Afghan economic activity with Pakistan.
In the interview regarding Pakistan, the US Commander said, “We want cooperation from Pakistan against all terrorists.”
“We all hope for a change in Pakistani behavior,” Nicholson said. “This is in Pakistan’s interest.”