Obama's Afghan visit to bolster war on militants

21:51, March 29, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama meets with troops at Bagram Air Base in Kabul, March 28, 2010. Obama arrived unannounced in Afghanistan on Sunday, his first visit to the war zone that could define his presidency since his election as U.S. commander-in-chief. Air Force One landed in darkness at Bagram airfield north of the Afghan capital, and Obama was whisked by helicopter to Hamid Karzai''s palace in Kabul, where he was greeted by the Afghan president and a band playing the U.S. national anthem. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

By Abdul Haleem

The United States President Barack Obama late on Sunday paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan amid increasing insurgency and hectic efforts for dialogue with insurgents to reinforce war on terror as he vowed not to allow Taliban and al-Qaida to return to power.

He made this pledge at a time when the Afghan government is going to convene the traditional Loya Jirga or the grand assembly in May to discuss the ways and means of how to implement national reconciliation and ensure lasting peace in the militancy-plagued country.

"We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al- Qaeda and its extremist allies," the U.S. president categorically said, according to media reports during his brief visit to Afghanistan.

The remarks, according to political observers, give a strong message to the Taliban outfit, al-Qaida network and associated insurgents that there will be no safe haven for militants in Afghanistan and in the region.

Both Taliban and al-Qaida operatives are widely active in Afghanistan and Pakistan''s lawless tribal areas from where they have been challenging NATO-led troops in the post-Taliban country.

Taliban elusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar who has escaped the U.S.-led military campaign since late 2001 has time and again called on his fighters to continue Jihad or holy war until the eviction of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

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