Prime Minister Imran Khan has said unequivocally that Pakistan will not hand up its bases to the US for operations in Afghanistan after the departure of the latter’s forces.
The prime minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s position on the use of military bases in an interview with HBO Axios’ Jonathan Swan, which will broadcast Monday at 3:00 a.m. PST, and said clearly that Islamabad would not accept it.
To keep militancy at bay, the US is in discussions with Pakistan and other regional nations about future operations in the war-torn country.
The nation, on the other hand, has informed Washington that this is not feasible.
The prime minister was again questioned by the US media over granting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) access to military sites.
“Will you allow the American government to have the CIA here in Pakistan to conduct cross border counter-terrorism missions against Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban?” Swan asked the premier.
Prime Minister Imran Khan replied, “Absolutely not.”
“There’s no way we’re going to allow any bases or any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not.”
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated earlier this month in an interview that Pakistan wants a stable Afghanistan, but that certain forces in the area do not want peace.
Pakistan has absolutely rejected to hand up military outposts to the United States, according to the FM, who also said that he has informed all political parties in a briefing that they had no such plans.
“Search for bases could be their wish. There’s no question of giving them bases, we have to see our interest.”
Qureshi was reacting to a New York Times store that claimed talks with Pakistan had hit an “impasse” for the time being.
“Some American officials said that negotiations with Pakistan had reached an impasse for now. Others have said the option remains on the table and a deal is possible,” the NYT report had stated.
According to the report, the CIA is looking for methods to keep its intelligence-gathering, war-fighting, and counter-terrorism activities in the nation despite the fast departure of US forces.
Earlier, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing at the White House that the US and Pakistan had constructive discussions about the future of America’s capabilities through military, intelligence, and diplomatic channels to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a base from which al Qaeda, ISIS, or any other terrorist group can attack the US.
“But in terms of the specifics of what that will look like, that will have to remain in those private channels as we work through them,” he had said without sharing further details.
Sullivan said that they are in talks with a variety of nations about how to develop effective, over-the-horizon capability, both in terms of intelligence and defense, in order to combat the terrorist threat in Afghanistan.