“Fighting will continue this year. This year we are going to see social pressure applied to Taliban for peace. There will be religious pressure applied to Taliban with the Ulema’s hosted in the Indonesia and elsewhere to strip away their religious legitimacy for Jihad in Afghanistan,” Nicholson said.
Gen. Nicholson also committed to cooperate Afghan forces in providing the security of upcoming elections.
“We and the International Community will support in every possible for holding the election in 2018. We will work closely with the Afghan security forces to provide a secure environment as possible for the conduct of elections,” he said.
The NATO commander also called on Taliban to stop killing civilians.
“Another major part of our operation in 2018 is going to improve the security of Kabul city,” he added.
NATO has stressed that U.S. will use options if Pakistan failed to take practical steps against terrorist groups based in the country.