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Imran Khan Says Pakistan Will Not Let US Military Operate on Nation's Bases for Afghanistan Ops: Report

File photo of Pakistan PM Imran Khan.

File photo of Pakistan PM Imran Khan.

To keep militancy at bay, the US is in negotiations with Pakistan and other regional governments about future operations in the war-torn country.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the country will not hand up its bases to the US for operations in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the latter’s forces, Geo News reported.

The Pak PM reiterated his stance on the use of military bases in an interview with HBO Axios’ Jonathan Swan, which will air on Monday, and said that Islamabad will not allow it.

To keep militancy at bay, the US is in negotiations with Pakistan and other regional governments about future operations in the war-torn country.

However, Pakistan has conveyed to the US that this is not possible.

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The prime minister was again questioned by the US media on granting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) access to military bases.

“Will you allow the American government to have the CIA here in Pakistan to conduct cross border counter-terrorism missions against Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban?” Swan asked.

“Absolutely not,” Imran Khan said.

“There’s no way we’re going to allow any bases or any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not," he said, according to the report.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said earlier that the Afghanistan peace process is the shared obligation of all stakeholders and one country alone cannot take responsibility for any negative outcome.

US President Joe Biden in April announced that all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this year. A similar troop-pullout was announced by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, giving way to speculation that the Taliban and other armed factions could fill the power vacuum in the region.

Speaking at the inaugural Pakistan-Afghanistan Bilateral Dialogue in Islamabad, Qureshi said Afghan officials often resorted to blaming Pakistan for their own failures. He hoped the same would not happen during the upcoming visit of Afghan leaders to the US, led by President Ashraf Ghani.

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first published:June 19, 2021, 21:58 IST