Common sense in Afghanistan

IN BATTLE-SCARRED Afghanistan, the Nato commander Lt Gen David Richards has pledged to use new tactics to win over the support of disenchanted Afghans. He said the Nato soldiers would be a ‘people-friendly force’ when they take over security in the south from US forces in July.

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Published: Tue 6 Jun 2006, 9:44 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:12 PM

In the running battle between coalition troops and the Taleban factions, both sides have constantly claimed victory over their rivals. For the last four years, many people in southern and eastern Afghanistan have been complaining of aggressive tactics used by American troops, which included house-to-house searches. If, however, there is a realisation among the forces that a change of approach is in order, it is a welcome sign.

But of course, the US and allied forces must see to it that the Taleban are brought back into the mainstream, so that they do not feel isolated and resort to vengeful acts. The Pashtuns must also be brought back into the ruling fold along with others who matter. The important thing here for the coalition would be not to take sides and support any one or more particular groups, as that has proved to be detrimental to their own interests and that of Afghanistan. Taking all sides into confidence and not antagonising groups that once wielded power is the best way to move forward and establish some semblance of peace, law and order.

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