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No military bases, have to look after our own interests: Pakistan tells US

Qureshi says Pakistan wants a stable Afghanistan but some elements do not want peace in the region

By Web Desk
June 08, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has told the US that it would not give military bases because the country has to look after its own interests, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Monday.

The foreign minister was presenting Pakistan's official stance in response to a US media report related to bases in the country for operations in Afghanistan. 

FM Qureshi, in an interview with ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’, said Pakistan wants a stable Afghanistan, but there are some elements who do not want peace in the region.

"We want to see the peace process going forward along with the withdrawal of troops. The world does not consider Pakistan part of the problem anymore," he said. 

The foreign minister categorically stated that Pakistan has refused to give military bases to the US, adding that he has told all political parties in a briefing that they have no such intention to do so. 

"To search for bases could be their wish. There's no question of [Pakistan] giving them bases, we have to keep in mind our own interests," he said. 

NY Times report

According to an NYT report, the negotiations with Pakistan over the matter had reached an "impasse" for now.

“Some American officials said 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 report said.

The publication said that the rapid withdrawal of US troops has left the agency [CIA] seeking ways to maintain its intelligence-gathering, war-fighting and counterterrorism operations in the country.

NSA Jake Sullivan says US in talks with Pakistan

Meanwhile, in a press briefing at the White House on Monday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that they had constructive discussions through military, intelligence, and diplomatic channels with Pakistan about the future of America’s capabilities to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a base from which al Qaeda or ISIS or any other terrorist group can attack the United States.

He did not share further details and said: “But in terms of the specifics of what that will look like, that will have to remain in those private channels as we work through them.”

Sullivan said the they are talking to a wide range of countries about how they build effective, over-the-horizon capacity, both from an intelligence and a defence perspective, to be able to suppress the terrorism threat in Afghanistan.