Thursday Jul 15, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan denied the US an opportunity to demand air bases from it, said National Security Advisor (NSA) Moeed Yusuf Wednesday, clarifying that Pakistan's decision on the matter was final: Islamabad will not provide air bases to Washington.
Pakistan's NSA was speaking to a private news channel where he said it made sense that Washington was looking for air bases after withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan.
He said that a story on the air bases appeared in The New York Times due to which Pakistan had to clarify its stance. He said Pakistan's stance was that it would not provide military bases to America to carry out Afghanistan operations.
Yusuf said after Pakistan put forth its clear stance, no one from the US would come and ask Islamabad for the air bases.
He warned the word against taking Pakistan as a "free for all".
On the issue of the Taliban seizing key territories in Afghanistan from the government, the NSA said Pakistan was in touch with the world over the rapidly changing scenario in the war-ravaged country.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had earlier clarified that Pakistan refused to give its military bases to the US.
In an interview with Geo News, FM Qureshi had 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," he had stated.
The foreign minister had categorically stated that Pakistan refused to give military bases to the US and added that he has told all political parties in a briefing that they have no such intention.
"Search for bases could be their wish. There's no question of giving them bases, we have to see our interest," Qureshi had stressed.
Qureshi was responding to a report by the New York Times which said that negotiations with Pakistan 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 NYT report stated.
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.