On Tuesday Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke to reporters about the post-withdrawal scenario and Pakistan’s constructive role in the Peace-Building Process.
FM Qureshi excluded the possibility of allowing the US to use Pakistani military bases. Pakistan will not allow the US to conduct counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan erstwhile it leaves Afghanistan. He further stated that “we do not intend to allow boots on the ground. Pakistan does not plan on transferring any bases to the US”.
FM Qureshi Noted that Pakistan is Only a Facilitator in Peace
Moreover, Qureshi noted that the current government’s policy permits Pakistan to be “only partners in peace” or “Facilitators in peace”. It does not permit Pakistan’s army bases to be used by the US for their counterterrorism efforts.
The concerns regarding Pakistan’s role in providing bases to the US have risen because US President Joe Biden has referred to doing so in meetings with Central Asian countries. According to Biden, the US planned to station its troops in neighboring states. This will allow the US to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a shelter for terrorists. However, US officials have not named Pakistan it’s base.
Similarly, the commander of the US Central Command, Gen. Kenneth Frank McKenzie said that Washington was engaged in diplomatic efforts to plan the stationing of its troops. According to Commander Mckensie, the US plans to base a counterterrorism force in the region against terrorist groups. This will take action once the US troops are fully removed from Afghanistan.
Pakistan Vows to Extend its Support for Peace in Afghanistan
Furthermore, FM Qureshi said that Islamabad desired to see Afghanistan as a peaceful and Prosperous country. He continued to inform that Pakistan was not facing any pressure from the US for lending its airbases. The FM added that Pakistan would protect its interests at all costs.
Lastly, He added that due to America’s war in Afghanistan, Pakistan has already suffered a lot and cannot sustain any further by providing military bases.FM Qureshi also welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire in Afghanistan and hoped that a reduction in violence would pave way for negotiations.