ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has categorically stated that Pakistan will ‘absolutely not’ allow any bases and use of its territory for any sort of action inside Afghanistan.

In an excerpt of the interview (full interview to be aired on Sunday) shared on Axios website on Saturday, interviewer Jonathan Swan questioned the prime minister: “Would you allow the Ameri-can government to have CIA here in Pakistan to conduct cross-border counterterrorism missions against Al Qaeda, ISIS or the Taliban?”

Mr Khan replied: “Absolutely not. There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not.”

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.

In interview to HBO, PM says country’s territory cannot be used for strikes inside Afghanistan

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.

In his recent address at Senate, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, too, had ruled out the possibility of providing Pakistan’s military bases to the United States for counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.

The foreign minister 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 Fawad Chaudhry also ruled out the possibility of providing any US airbase in Pakistan saying as all such facilities were under Pakistan’s own use.

He said it was the Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf (PTI)-led government that ended drone surveillance facility given to the US in the past.

All the airbases were under the use of Pakistan and no negotiations in this regard were under way as Pakistan could not give any airbase, he said.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2021

Opinion

Growth stories
Updated 29 Jul 2021

Growth stories

Reza Baqir says next year’s external financing needs are fully secured, which is reassuring, but there are years after that too.
A future PM?
Updated 29 Jul 2021

A future PM?

Weightlifter Talha Talib should be given a hero’s welcome at the highest level.
Making sense of AJK polls
Updated 28 Jul 2021

Making sense of AJK polls

It was perhaps the dirtiest electioneering in AJK’s history with leaders accusing each other of treachery.

Editorial

29 Jul 2021

Saudi FM’s visit

THE Saudi-Pakistan relationship is decades old and has weathered a number of geopolitical storms. Of late, ties came...
29 Jul 2021

SBP’s high hopes

THE June spike in the current account deficit notwithstanding, the State Bank doesn’t look too worried about the...
Joy and sadness on K2
Updated 29 Jul 2021

Joy and sadness on K2

Pakistan’s mountains have a commercial value that remains untapped.
Renewed threat of militancy
Updated 28 Jul 2021

Renewed threat of militancy

The only way out of a scenario that threatens the hard-won peace against militancy is to engage with the Afghan Taliban.
Updated 28 Jul 2021

‘Hepatitis can’t wait’

WITH a large part of the world’s health resources diverted towards fighting wave after wave of Covid-19, it is ...
28 Jul 2021

Door-to-door jab

THE Punjab government’s move to take its coronavirus vaccination drive to the doorsteps of people in five ...