Iran’s Straight Faced Lies


Iran denies Trump’s claims it sponsors terrorism
By TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF
May 30, 2017
Iran on Monday dismissed US President Donald Trump’s allegations that it is a major sponsor of terrorism as “incorrect and irrelevant.”
Trump, during his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, accused Tehran of spearheading global terror. Along with Saudi King Salman he called for the Islamic Republic to be shunned.
“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region,” Trump said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed the accusations during a press briefing.
“These improper, incorrect and irrelevant positions of certain countries are nothing new and they try to project the blame on others and such remarks are unbelievable and unacceptable,” he said.
According to the Fars news agency, Qassemi also questioned how Tehran could be a sponsor of terror when it had just recently proven to the world its democratic bona fides with its presidential elections.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed Saturday that Saudi Arabia’s monarchy faces “certain downfall” for aligning itself with the US and that its regime could be toppled sooner rather than later.
“They will be gone, they can be toppled and can perish [or be destroyed]… there is no doubt about it… it is certain that it will happen,” Khamnei said during a religious gathering in comments translated from Persian.
In further scathing remarks against Riyadh, Khamenei said the Muslim world has been placed in “grave danger” by “a group of worthless, inept and villainous people [who] are ruling over a community of the Muslim nation, namely the Saudi government.”
Khamenei also said that Saudi Arabia is a “cow being milked” by the United States, a week after the kingdom signed an $110 billion weapons deal with Trump during his visit last Saturday. Private sector and other agreements with the US totaled some $350 billion.
Majority Shiite Iran and predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia support opposite sites in the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East.
AP contributed to this report.

Preparing For World War 3 (Revelation 15)

World War 3: India-Pakistan Nuclear War In The Near Future Is PossibleWORLD WAR 3: INDIA-PAKISTAN NUCLEAR WAR IN THE NEAR FUTURE IS POSSIBLE

Could India and Pakistan really go to nuclear war? After all, both countries have long been nuclear powers, a restraint that encloses the lives of a combined 1.4 billion people. Both the nations have roughly 120-130 nuclear warheads each and enough delivery systems to deploy these warheads.

MILITARY

India has a clearly larger military with access to more defence reserves, budgets and resources than Pakistan.

ALLIES

Pakistan has historically had US and China support them in all three wars fought in 1965, 1971 and 1999. US will most likely either take a neutral stand or try to get the UN involved to arbitrate. India can always expect support from Russia and Israel in getting appropriate weapons and intel to combat the enemy. Also, India will have a strategic geographic advantage of having an Ally in Afghanistan.

ECONOMY

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world in the last decade. India’s economic stability will help them sustain the cost of war for much longer than Pakistan.

GOVERNANCE

India has been a stable democracy pretty much since the independence and partition. Unlike Pakistan, there has never been a tug of war between the Government, Military and the Intelligence Agency.

STRATEGY

India has a policy of “No First Attack” if the situation ever boils down to a Nuclear War.
At the end, there is no immediate threat, but along with a strong Indian response guaranteed in the event of cross-border terror adventurism, factors like non-state actors and the rising pitch of rhetoric can lead to disaster.

Prelude To A Nuclear Storm (Revelation 8)

Agni-11Storm in a teacup

The writer is a foreign policy expert based in Washington, DC
Last month, Indian-American scholar Vipin Narang stirred a storm by casting doubt on the sanctity of India’s No-First-Use (NFU) pledge on nuclear weapons and positing the possibility of Indian pre-emptive strikes against Pakistan. Since, the Pakistani state and several experts have pointed to the Indian hypocrisy of claiming an NFU that they no longer plan to honour.
I would have usually dismissed the response as business as usual. Worryingly, there is more, it seems. In the past few weeks, I have heard regular references to Narang’s comments in Pakistani policy circles, and even discussions suggesting that Pakistan must consider its implications seriously. The talk continues.
I am alarmed because I found some of these conversations to be strikingly similar to what I heard a decade ago when the Indian army floated its Cold Start doctrine — a Pakistan-specific limited war strategy conceived by the Indian army after the 2001-02 crisis with Pakistan.
In that crisis, India not only discovered that its nuclear weapons have no bearing on the ability of terrorists to strike inside India, but also that its ability to leverage its superior conventional might was neutralised by Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent. Cold Start offered India an option to wage limited war that would punish Pakistan selectively, without bringing Pakistani nuclear use in response into play.
In 2007, three years after Cold Start was floated, I, along with several other scholars, analysed this Indian doctrine threadbare. The question posed to me was why Pakistan had not reacted to the doctrine in any visible way. I argued that Pakistan hadn’t and wouldn’t because Cold Start did not alter the military’s Order of Battle, or its ability to neutralise India’s conventional aggression, given that its short lines of communication and forward bases already secured it against such an Indian adventure. I was wrong.

The state has never believed in the sanctity of the Indian NFU.


Pakistan reacted, in fact overreacted, by developing a fresh tactical nuclear weapon capability. Most objective analysts agree that Cold Start is simply not executable, and even if it were, Pakistan’s conventional forces could easily tackle it. Moreover, the Nasr missile defies decades of experience during the Cold War that confirms the exorbitant risks attached to fielding battlefield nuclear weapons.
For now, Nasr has offered the latest reason for the world to question the dangers posed by Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
The NFU saga is also a storm in a teacup, no more. Vipin Narang is a well-respected Indian-American scholar who neither speaks for the Indian establishment, nor claims to have any clout over it. He made these remarks while speaking on a conference panel that specifically focused on envisioning hypothetical scenarios that entailed nuclear weapons use.
As scholars often do in such gatherings, Narang went for a counterintuitive scenario rather than the run-of-the-mill one that would have envisioned a Pakistani first use, probably of its tactical nuclear weapon against invading Indian conventional forces. Basing his observations on the statements of senior Indian ex-officials, he posited Indian pre-emptive strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Narang clearly wished to provoke an analytical debate on the sanctity of India’s NFU.
But he wasn’t claiming anything had happened in the days preceding his talk that had made such an Indian first-use likelier than before.
I am not arguing that the concern about India’s loosening NFU is made up. Indeed, this has been an ongoing debate in India and several serious voices have hinted that the posture may not be as sacrosanct after all. It is also true that a country’s shift from NFU to first-use is no trivial development. Under certain contexts, it could require the rival to consider significant changes in force planning, postures, deployment protocols, etc.
Luckily, this isn’t the case for Pakistan.
The reality is that the Pakistani nuclear est­a­bl­­ishment and experts alike have never believed in the sanctity of the Indian NFU to begin with. No Pakistani nuclear or conventional choices assume a credible Indian NFU; in fact, all discount it.
This isn’t surprising. After all, even though an NFU directly impacts force requirements and postures, at its heart, it is a declaratory commitment that can never be fully verified. When rivals are as mutually distrusting as India and Pakistan, scepticism about such declarations is only natural.
But this also implies that Pakistan needn’t worry about an Indian shift away from the NFU, much less a fanciful scenario (according to Narang himself) of an Indian pre-emptive strike. This is the time to exhibit the psychological security that behooves a nuclear power confident of its capability. To the contrary, reacting to an independent scholar’s academic analysis in this manner suggests exactly the opposite.
The development of Nasr has already shown the kind of decisions such insecurity can produce. Pakistan must not fall in this trap again.
The writer is a foreign policy expert based in Washington, DC

India Ready To Play Nuclear Hardball (Revelation 8)

india-test-fires-supersonic-land-attack-cruise-missile-1446905094-9954Nuclear scholars infer India may be jettisoning no-first-use of nukes against Pakistan
Chidanand Rajghatta | TNN |
WASHINGTON: Nuclear doctrines have come a long way from the time Ronald Reagan declared in 1984 that ”a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Forced to counter Pakistan’s persistent use of terrorism under a nuclear cover and the slippery slope that introduced to the region, India may be re-interpreting its no-first-use of nuclear weapons policy to allow pre-emptive strikes against its neighbor, the nuclear pundits community is deducing, based among other things on cryptic statements from the Indian establishment.
The purported evolution of India’s nuclear doctrine towards pre-emptive first use is primarily based on throwaway remarks made by former defense minister Manohar Parrikar last November wondering why New Delhi should bind itself to a no-first use policy, instead of saying more cryptically that it is a responsible nuclear power and will not use nuclear weapons irresponsibly. Those remarks (which Parrikar immediately clarified were his personal views), taken together with a more deliberative narration in former Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon’s memoir that ”There is a potential gray area as to when India would use nuclear weapons first’‘ against a nuclear-armed adversary, has led some nuclear scholars to infer that New Delhi is moving its nuclear doctrine in a new direction.
Some of the conjecture was articulated by Vipin Narang, an MIT nuclear proliferation scholar, at a Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington DC, attracting attention of domain experts across the world. Outlining developments in the subcontinent that had led India to conceive of its Cold Start doctrine (a punitive conventional strike) only to have it countered by Pakistan’s development of tactical battlefield nuclear weapons, Narang said it looked increasingly likely that India may abandon its no-first use police and launch a preemptive strike if it believed Pakistan was going to use any kind of nuclear weapons first.
”India’s opening salvo may not be conventional strikes trying to pick off just Nasr batteries in the theatre, but a full ‘comprehensive counterforce strike’ that attempts to completely disarm Pakistan of its nuclear weapons so that India does not have to engage in iterative tit-for-tat exchanges and expose its own cities to nuclear destruction,” Narang said. ”There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first.”
Narang’s presentation caught the attention of nuclear pundits and geo-political scholars both in the subcontinent and the U.S, and on Friday, the New York Times highlighted it with the additional speculation that India could be emboldened to evolve its posture by President Trump’s softer stance on nuclear proliferation.
”This (allowing a pre-emptive strike against Pakistan) would not formally change India’s nuclear doctrine, which bars it from launching a first strike, but would loosen its interpretation to deem pre-emptive strikes as defensive,” the paper said. ”It would also change India’s likely targets, in the event of a war, to make a nuclear exchange more winnable and, therefore, more thinkable.”
Narang’s inference about a possible change in India’s nuclear posture vis-a-vis Pakistan brought a more visceral reaction from Islamabad.
”For Pakistan, these disclosures do not come as a surprise since Indian NFU is really a sham and political rhetoric. Besides, no responsible defence planners any where would accept political assertions from the opponent, especially since these are non-verifiable. By spilling the beans, Narang has only validated Pakistan’s deterrence policy,” former Pakistani diplomat and nuclear negotiator Zamir Akram wrote, outlining and rationalizing Pakistan full-spectrum deterrence, including a second-strike capability, while warning that ”for every move there is a counter move.”

India Becomes A Nuckear Threat

PTI
This first strike, however, will not be aimed at urban centres and conventional targets but against Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal. The strategic assessment is in clear contrast to New Delhi’s ‘no-first strike’ policy of 2003.
“There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first,” Vipin Narang, a nuclear strategist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said at a conference on nuclear policy hosted by Carnegie, a think tank, on Monday, according to the Hindustan Times.
India would launch “a full ‘comprehensive counterforce strike’ that attempts to completely disarm Pakistan of its nuclear weapons,” Dr Narang said.
He explained that policy-makers in New Delhi decided to go for the nuclear option to ensure that “India does not have to engage in iterative tit-for-tat exchanges and expose its own cities to nuclear destruction”.
New Delhi declared the ‘no-first strike’ policy, undertaking not to start a nuclear war in a neighbourhood packed with nuclear actors such as China and Pakistan.
Narang said he was not basing the assessment on fringe extreme voices such as those of Bharat Karnad or retired Indian Army officers frustrated by the lack of resolve they believe their government had shown in multiple provocations.
This assessment, he said, was based on what he learned from no less than a former Strategic Forces Command C-in-C Lt Gen B.S. Nagal and from the highly respected and influential former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.
“We may be witnessing … a ‘decoupling’ of Indian nuclear strategy between China and Pakistan. The force requirements India needs to credibly threaten assured retaliation against China may allow it to pursue more aggressive strategies — such as escalation dominance or a ‘splendid first strike’— against Pakistan,” Dr Narang said.
The MIT expert argued that the conventional wisdom that a nuclear war in South Asia could start with a terrorist attack from Pakistan may no longer be valid.
Relations between the neighbours are at the lowest ebb since the attack on Indian military base of Uri in occupied Kashmir last year. Following the attack, India claimed to have carried out ‘surgical strikes’ against militant launch pads in Kashmir, which were denied by the government, as well as the military.
However, in February, both countries extended a bilateral pact, dealing with reducing the risk of nuclear weapon-related accidents including a war, for a period of five years.

India Will Change Its No First Nuke Policy (Revelation 8)

India may abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear policy: Expert

Misil+India+PRITHVI-2
During the 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, Narang said, “There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first”.
The remarks by Vipin Narang, an expert on South Asian nuclear strategy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before a Washington audience was though a negation of India’s stated policy of ‘no first use’.
During the 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, Narang said, “There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first”.
But, he pointed out, India’s preemptive strike may not be conventional strikes and would also be aimed at Pakistan’s missiles launchers for tactical battlefield nuclear warheads.
“India’s opening salvo may not be conventional strikes trying to pick off just Nasr batteries in the theatre, but a full ‘comprehensive counterforce strike’ that attempts to completely disarm Pakistan of its nuclear weapons so that India does not have to engage in iterative tit-for-tat exchanges and expose its own cities to nuclear destruction,” Narang said.
He said this thinking surfaces not from fringe extreme voices or retired Indian Army officers frustrated by the lack of resolve they believe their government has shown in multiple provocations, but from no less than a former Commander of India’s Strategic Forces, Lt Gen BS Nagal.
It also comes perhaps more importantly and authoritatively, from the highly-respected and influential former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon in his 2016 book ‘Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy’, the nuclear strategist said.
“So our conventional understanding of South Asia’s nuclear dynamics and who, in fact, might use nuclear weapons first and in what mode may need a hard rethink given these emerging authoritative voices in India who are not content to cede the nuclear initiative to Pakistan,” he said, adding that this would mark a major shift in Indian strategy if implemented.
Sameer Lalwani, senior associate and deputy director South Asia at the Stimson Center, an American think-tank, said Narang’s remarks challenged the conventional wisdom of South Asia’s strategic stability problem.

India Nuclear Horn Goes Supersonic

India test-fires supersonic cruise missile
Pakistan has already urges world to check Indian conventional, nuclear arms build-up
India on Saturday test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which is ‘capable’ of carrying a warhead of 300kg, from a test range along the Odisha coast, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The cruise missile was test fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore in Odisha at about 11.33am, the news service quoted unnamed officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as saying. “It was an ‘excellent’ launch and a great success,” they said.
The PTI reported that the supersonic missile was capable of carrying a warhead of 300kg. “The two-stage missile, one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the army and navy, while the air force version is in final stage of trial,” the officials said. The Indian Army is already equipped with three regiments of Block III version of Brahmos missiles.
On Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in Islamabad that India’s massive arms build-up and testing of inter-continental ballistic missiles was a source of concern for the region. However, Pakistan would not indulge in the arms race, he said. “Pakistan will maintain minimum deterrence capability to safeguard its national security,” he said.
“India’s massive arms buying spree, making it one of the top arms importers in the world, was driven by its desire for regional hegemony and global power status,” he said. On the other hand, Pakistan had been compelled to acquire and maintain a deterrent capability to ensure its national security, he said, adding that Pakistan never wanted to engage in any kind of arms race, nuclear or conventional.
Several international reports and independent observers had drawn attention to the rapid expansion in India’s capability to produce fissile material for military use, which had been made possible by the 2008 NSG waiver granted to India without appropriate non-proliferation safeguards and the subsequent nuclear deals struck with different countries.
In February, the Foreign Office urged the international community to check Indian conventional and nuclear arms build-up that had caused strategic anxiety in the region. “With conventional weapons balance already disturbed, India’s nuclear weapons build-up has dangerous proportions to tip the strategic balance and endanger peace of the region and beyond,” he said.

The Nuclear Horns of South Asia

By Beenish Altaf
The emanating threat to peace of Indian Ocean is mainly due to the nuclearization initiated by Indians. Out of which, the chief elements or the challenges to peace in the ocean that could be counted among are listed as its militarization, increased missile capabilities, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and power projection by foreign militaries, in addition to piracy, illegal fishing, human, drugs and arms smuggling, maritime pollution and climate change.
The Indian Ocean, geo-strategically is present at the world’s most fundamental part. It is the third largest oceanic division of the world and commands strategically important sea lanes of communication (SLOCs) that link the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia with Europe, East Asia, and the US. Around 80 percent of the world’s energy trade passes through the choke points of this region.
Pakistan is concerned with the alarming modernization of India’s exasperated capabilities with regards to its missile and nuclear weapons. It would be pertinent to mention here that with the demonstration of the test launch of the K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on March 31, 2016, India’s movement towards fielding an undersea deterrent is well taken. It was an indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine, the INS Arihant.
Due to the India’s ‘unrestrained behavior’, it became necessary for Pakistan to take a step forward towards a sea-based deterrent. Therefore, for this reason, Pakistan decided over an equivalent measure and successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile, Babur-III on January 9, 2017, that is considered a compelled step.
Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz while speaking at an international forum in Pakistan said that this trend is likely to intensify in the coming years. And that “we are aware of our national interests and every effort will be made to strengthen our capacity to ensure that we remain ready to meet the emerging maritime security challenges. For us, to remain oblivious of the developments taking place in the Indian Ocean region is not an option.”
A statement issued by the Foreign Office states, “The reported Indian tests of a submarine-launched ballistic missile and development of a nuclear submarine fleet are serious developments, which impact the delicate strategic balance in the region. It has resulted in the nuclearization of the Indian Ocean.” India wants to exercise its supremacy in the whole region by its nuclearization of Indian Ocean. It will certainly exacerbate the already fragile strategic balance in South Asia.
There is another concern gaining hype nowadays regarding the un-demarcated borders in the Sir Creek. Pakistan has to be more careful about defending its borders, land or sea routes because if the communication link with the vessel is disrupted, it could prove to be extremely risky. Consequently, a good amount of naval pressure is necessary to keep our sea lanes open and safe. Nevertheless, the Sir Creek border issue has a potential to cast a shadow on the maritime security.
Projection of military and nuclear power into the seas will grip the region into an arms race and inevitably place it at the risk of a nuclear showdown. Mr. Aziz said that the Indian navy’s substantial expansion was a cause for concern for Pakistan and that Pakistan has a strategic stake in the peaceful navigation and security of the Indian Ocean region.
The Indian Ocean region is being taken with a sense of war whereas it is not all about war it has a potential of economic growth as well. It is a catalyst for peace and prosperity, cooperation, collaboration, connectivity, regional stability, and security. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah emphasized the substantial role being played by the Pakistan Navy in the sustenance of peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region that operationalisation of the CPEC and the Gwadar Port would lead to an exponential increase in maritime activities of the country’s coast. “Consequently, responsibilities of Pakistan Navy for maintaining a secure maritime environment will also increase manifold. The Recent establishment of the Task Force-88 is also a step forward in this regard.”
Ironically, India is heading day by day towards boosting massively its missile, conventional and unconventional capabilities. Pakistan has declared its intention of highlighting the dangerous implications of India’s plans to nuclearize the Indian Ocean at all relevant international fora through a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Last but not the least, India is playing a dangerous game in pursuit of achieving the status of a great power and regional hegemony. As a result, it is the collective responsibility of all the involving states to share the burden to maintain security in the region keeping and acknowledging it as a common goal.

India Prepares For Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

India gears up to fight nuclear attacks

CC
THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Mar 5, 2017, 6:34 am IST
Updated : Mar 5, 2017, 6:49 am IST
DRDO hands over to Army recce vehicle to counter chemical, biological hits too.
New Delhi: The strong possibility that chemical weapons were used in Wednesday’s attacks in Afghanistan has brought the dangerous reality to India’s doorsteps. Pakistan’s growing arsenal of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and the declared intent of terror outfits like Al Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS to acquire non-conventional weapons, including chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, has resonated very strongly in India and rapid steps are already underway to combat such attacks, be it from state or non-state actors.
“We have not faced nuclear or chemical attacks, but we will have to be prepared at every moment to deal with the issue,” defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursd-ay. Alluding to reports of chemical attacks by the Taliban in Afghanistan on Wednesday, he said: “While these reports are yet to be confirmed, I have seen photographs of the local population suffering from blisters and burns and they are quite distressing.”
Significantly on Thursd-ay itself, the state-owned Defence Research and De-velopment Organisation (DRDO) handed over to the Army the NBC (nuc-lear, biological and chemical) Recce Vehicle which is all set to be deployed.
Resembling a battle tank and equipped with GPS navigation, meteorological sensors and radiation sensors, the NBC Recce Vehicle is capable of conducting effective reconnaissance of radiological and chemically contaminated areas, demarcation of contaminated zones, real-time communication of digital data after analysing the solid and liquid samples to the supported formation.
“The utility of the NBC Recce Vehicle goes beyond warfare and will prove to be indispensable in any NBC disaster situation too,” said a source who has worked on the development of the vehicle.
In a nuclear disaster, a person is exposed to gam-ma radiations. In high dos-es, radiation syndromes can kill in hours to days to a few months, while in low doses, genetic and cancer disorders may result.
Radio-protectors and radio-mitigator drugs are required to reduce the effects of gamma irradiation substantially. The drugs have been put to Drug Controller General for special approvals, while provisioning to Indian armed forces has already started as these are life-saving drugs.
“The DRDO has also provided a NBC kit to the Indian defence forces although it has been segregated into elements for field use and in the hospital on the advice of the Army authorities,” said a top DRDO official on condition of anonymity.

Pakistani Horn Continues To Harbor Terrorists (Daniel 8)

Last Updated: Saturday, January 30, 2016 – 15:09
Washington: A top US general has said it is difficult to destroy the “enemy” in Afghanistan if terror groups like the Haqqani network and Taliban have sanctuaries in Pakistan.
“When an enemy enjoys sanctuary like that, it’s very difficult to defeat them,” General John “Mick” Nicholson, who has been nominated by the Pentagon as Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, during confirmation hearing yesterday.
Nicholson said he views the terrorist safe havens inside Pakistan as a serious problem.
“This (terrorist safe havens) has been one of the principal challenges. It’s a sanctuary that our enemies, in particular the Haqqani Network, have enjoyed inside Pakistan,” he said responding to a question from Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Committee.
Critical of the Af-Pak policy of the Obama Administration, McCain also demanded an immediately halt to US troop withdrawals and eliminate any target date for withdrawal.
Responding to the question, Nicholson said it is difficult to defeat the Taliban and Haqqani network when they enjoy terrorist safe haven, and as such, it is important to “enlist” Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.
“In this case, Pakistan, to go after those sanctuaries, and then the other important piece is to build up the defence capacity of the Afghans so that they can keep that level of violence down to a manageable level,” the general said.
Earlier, in a written response to questions, Nicholson asked Pakistan to take persistent action against the Taliban, particularly the Haqqani Network.
“Pakistan’s pressure on the Taliban combined with its support to the reconciliation process are mutually reinforcing,” he added.