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Imran Khan rules out possibility of giving Pakistan military bases to US for action in Afghanistan

News Agencies | Updated on: 20 June 2021, 10:03 IST

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has made it clear that the country would "absolutely not" permit any of its bases or use of its territory to the United States for any kind 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 said in an interview given to Jonathan Swan of HBO Axios, Dawn reported.

The interview will be aired on Sunday, on the Axios website.

The Prime Minister's statement came after being asked whether Pakistan would allow the American government to have CIA here in the country to conduct cross-border counterterrorism missions against Al-Qaeda, ISIS or the Taliban.

Earlier, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has ruled out the possibility of providing military bases to the United States for counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.

Taliban has welcomed the Pakistani government's decision not to give its military bases to American forces after their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"We welcome the decision taken by Pakistani authorities not to give its bases to US forces", Taliban spokesperson Sohail Shaheen, told The Nation on phone from Doha. "The demand by US forces for having bases in Pakistan is unjustified, and Pakistan responded rightly," Shaheen said.

This comes amid reports that the negotiations for the military bases in the region have reached an impasse, for now, The New York Times reported.

"Some American officials (told the newspaper) 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 said earlier this week.

Dawn further reported that the Foreign Minister had 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 US in the country saying all such facilities were under Pakistan's own use.

The US is in talks with Pakistan and other regional countries for cooperation in future operations in the war-torn country to keep a check on militancy, as per The News International.


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First published: 20 June 2021, 10:03 IST