Pakistan will ‘absolutely not’ allow bases to US for action in Afghanistan: PM Imran

Published June 19, 2021
A still taken from the promo of Prime Minister Imran Khan's interview to Axios which will be aired on Sunday. — Axios via APP
A still taken from the promo of Prime Minister Imran Khan's interview to Axios which will be aired on Sunday. — Axios via APP

Prime Minister Imran Khan has categorically said that Pakistan would “absolutely not” allow any bases and use of its territory to the US for any sort of action inside Afghanistan.

“Absolutely not. There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not,” the prime minister told Axios on HBO in an interview.

In an excerpt of the interview, to be aired on Sunday, on the Axios website, the interviewer Jonathan Swan had questioned, “Would you allow the American government to have CIA here in Pakistan to conduct cross-border counterterrorism missions against Al-Qaeda, ISIS or the Taliban?”

Surprised over his clear-cut response of “absolutely not”, the interviewer interrupts the prime minister to reconfirm his words asking, “Seriously?”

Axios on HBO is a documentary-news programme that combines the reporting of Axios journalists with the expertise of HBO filmmakers to explore the collision of tech, media, business, and politics.

The series has featured interviews with former US president Donald Trump, Sundar Pichai, Elon Musk, Mary Barra, now US President Joe Biden, Andrew Yang and Kamala Harris, among others.

Recently, in his address in the Senate, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi ruled out the possibility of providing military bases to the United States for counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.

He rejected as unfounded the reports to this effect and made it clear that the government would never provide military bases to the US, nor would allow drone attacks inside Pakistan.

In a cabinet briefing, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain also ruled out the possibility of any airbase of the United States in Pakistan saying all such facilities were under Pakistan’s own use.

He said it was the PTI-led government that ended ‘drone surveillance’ facility given to the US in the past.

“All the airbases are under the use of Pakistan. Right now, no negotiations in this regard are underway as Pakistan cannot give any airbase [to any country],” he said.

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