London, July 14 (ANI): While the United States, Britain and other allied countries are planning to pull out from Afghanistan in two to three years time, NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has warned that such a move could prove catastrophic, with the Taliban very quickly likely to bring the entire country under it tyrannical rule.
During a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameroon here, Rasmussen said that the nations supporting the US -led 'war on terror' in Afghanistan should keep their soldiers in the country as long as necessary.
"We can have our hopes, we can have our expectations, but I cannot give any guarantee as far as an exact date or year is concerned," The Daily Times quoted Rasmussen, as saying.
"The Taliban follow the political debate in troop-contributing countries closely, and if they discover that through their attacks, they can weaken the support for our presence in Afghanistan, they will just be encouraged to step up their attacks on foreign troops," he added.
It is worth mentioning here that last week Cameroon had said that he hopes to see British troops return home from Afghanistan within five years.
NATO and the US have more than 140,000 troops in Afghanistan with another 10,000 due in coming weeks as part of the counter-insurgency strategy.
The NATO secretary general said that an early departure from Afghanistan could see the Taliban return to power, which could have far reaching effects.
"If the world forces left too soon, the Taliban would return to Afghanistan which would once again become a safe haven for terrorist groups who would use it as a launch pad for attacks on North America and Europe," Rasmussen said.
He also underlined that the coalition forces' pull out could destabilise Afghanistan's 'nuclear' neighbour-Pakistan. (ANI)