The Pentagon has once again blamed Islamabad for the Afghan crisis, claiming that the US was in talks with Pakistan over the supposed existence of terrorist safe havens along the Pak-Afghan border, which he described as causes of regional instability and insecurity.
In a press conference on Monday, Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby urged Afghanistan’s neighbors to avoid acts that endanger regional stability.
He said dialogue was underway with Pakistan on safe havens for militants at the Pak-Afghan border, adding: “Pakistan has also been a major victim of terrorism”.
“So, we’re all — we all have a shared sense of — of the importance of closing down those safe havens and — and not allowing them to be used by the Taliban or other terrorist networks to sow discord. And again, we’re having that conversation with the Pakistanis all the time,” Kirby said in response to a question.
The Pentagon spokesman said that the US will continue to provide aerial assistance to the Afghan Air Force whenever it is required, expressing Washington’s commitment to the Afghan government.
According to reports from Afghanistan, the Taliban have taken control of six provincial capitals in the last several days, prompting the Pentagon officer to declare the security situation in Afghanistan is “not heading in the right direction”
Kirby expressed worry about the present condition in the war-torn nation but said that Afghan security forces had the resources to combat the Afghan Taliban.
He said that Afghan security forces have the resources that the Taliban lack and that Afghan security forces must protect the nation.
“The Afghan government possesses capability and capacity to defend itself,” he said.
“I have the proof that they have a force of over 300,000 soldiers and police. They have a modern air force — an air force, by the way, which we continue to contribute to and to — and to improve. They have modern weaponry; they have — they have an organizational structure. They have a lot of advantages that the Taliban don’t have. Taliban doesn’t have an air force, the Taliban don’t own airspace, they have a lot of advantages. Now, they have to use those advantages. They have to exert that leadership. And it’s got to come both from a political and from the military side,” Kirby said.