No plan to handover airbases to US: Qureshi

Newly-appointed Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses the media on his first day at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad on August 20, 2018. (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM / AFP)
Our Correspondent

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday reiterated that Pakistan will neither provide its military or air bases to the US nor permit it to conduct airstrikes within the country.

Talking to news men in Multan, he said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan would never provide its bases to the US.

On the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, he held Pakistan Muslim League-N responsible for the mishandling of the Indian spy case.

“India wants to take Jadhav’s case to ICJ again.” I hope the opposition will understand the Indian attempts in this context, he maintained.

Ruling out the impression of political victimization of opponents under the name of accountability, Qureshi said, the incumbent government wants transparent accountability system across the country.

He advised PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to clarify his position in the graft cases.
Clearing the air on the issue of providing consular access to captured Indian spy-terrorist, Kulbhushan Jadhav, Qureshi said that the government is acting upon the order of the International Court of Justice.

He said that India did not want us to give its intelligence operative consular access. “India wants to take the Jadhav case back to ICJ and wants to spoil the case,” Qureshi maintained.

The foreign minister wanted the opposition parties not to take the bait and to understand India’s gimmick and stop damaging the case.

Earlier, the Foreign Office had also stated that there was no US military or air base in Pakistan and nor was any such proposal envisaged.

Responding to media queries, the foreign office spokesman had said that any speculation on this account was baseless and irresponsible and should be avoided.

On the meeting of G7 countries in Britain, the foreign minister said that it was heartening to note if wealthy countries of G7 would take steps to bring development and progress in the developing countries.

He said China was not facing any competition regarding investment in the development schemes in the developing countries by other countries.

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