Washington began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in May
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan will “absolutely not” provide any bases to the United States for military action in Afghanistan.
He said this in an interview with Jonathan Swan of HBO Axios. Swan asked if Imran Khan would allow the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA in Pakistan to conduct cross-border, counter-terrorism missions in Afghanistan.
“Absolutely not. There’s no way we are ever going to allow,” the Pakistan PM replied.
“Any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan, absolutely not.”
Pakistan reportedly provided bases to the US in the past, but Islamabad has lately been vocal about denying Washington any bases in the country.
In April, President Arif Alvi said that his country won’t become “a base of US action in Afghanistan” after the withdrawal of US troops from the neighbouring country in September.
“I am not aware and I don’t think Pakistan will be in a position to offer that,” President Alvi said in an interview with VoA.
In his April 13 speech, President Joe Biden said the US would “reorganize our counterterrorism capabilities and the substantial assets in the region to prevent reemergence of terrorists – of the threat to our homeland from over the horizon”.
Biden announced that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan would begin from May 1 and it would be completed by September 11.
Pakistan reportedly provided bases to the US to operate drones at one time, but President Alvi said he was not aware of any such request from Washington. “It’s a hypothetical question,” he said.
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He didn’t think that the US needed any “increased intelligence presence or a bigger footprint in Pakistan” after the withdrawal of its troops.
“I think we should be careful in ensuring the fact that Pakistan doesn’t become a base of US action in Afghanistan of any sort,” President Alvi said.
He went on to say that Pakistan would help Afghanistan rebuild itself, adding that Islamabad would not want intra-Afghan talks to fail.