Taliban warn Afghan neighbours against allowing US bases

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Kabul

The Taliban warned Afghanistan’s neighbours on Wednesday against allowing the United States to operate military bases on their soil, the insurgents insisting they would thwart such a “historic mistake”.

Washington is in the final stages of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, and a flurry of diplomatic calls between the US and Pakistan in recent days has fuelled speculation the Pentagon is scouting for new bases to use against the Taliban.

The Taliban in a statement said: “We urge neighbouring countries not to allow anyone to do so.

If such a step is taken again, it will be a great and historic mistake and disgrace.” They would “not remain silent in the face of such heinous and provocative acts”, the statement added.

On Tuesday, the Pakistani government dismissed media reports that it had struck a new deal with Washington.

“This news is baseless and speculative,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the Senate.

“I want to make it clear on the floor of the house … that Pakistan, under the leadership of Imran Khan, will never allow any American base on its soil.”

 

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