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Taliban lauds Pakistan's refusal to give airbases to US troops

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 June 2021, 8:56 IST

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.

The report claims that in discussions with American officials, "the Pakistanis have demanded a variety of restrictions in exchange for the use of a base in the country, and they have effectively required that they sign off on any targets that either the CIA or the military would want to hit inside Afghanistan."

The Pentagon is now mulling to authorise airstrikes in Afghanistan if the country falls into crisis due to the rise in violence by the Taliban.

The Hill reported that US senior administration officials said that military officials are actively discussing how to respond to potential consequences following the withdrawal of US troops, slated to be completed by September.

The officials said that decisions to potentially allow airstrikes following troop withdrawal haven't been made yet, but one option now would be to recommend US warplanes or armed drones intervene in a major crisis, such as the fall of Kabul, or other parts of the country fall to the Taliban.


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First published: 11 June 2021, 8:56 IST