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World

Pakistan rules out providing military bases to U.S. for future counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan

  • Pakistan has ruled out the possibility of providing its military bases to the United States, for any future counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.
  • The Biden Administration has been in talks with several Central Asian countries to reposition its troops, to prevent the landlocked Afghanistan from becoming a base for terrorist groups.
Updated 12 May 2021

On Tuesday, Pakistan has ruled out the possibility of providing its military bases to the United States, for any future counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi remarked to reporters, explaining that the government has adopted a policy that allows it to become the "only partners in peace", and to not join any future war-efforts.

“No sir, we do not intend to allow boots on the ground and no [U.S.] bases are being transferred to Pakistan", the Foreign Minister added when asked if his government is under pressure to give military bases to the United States.

The Biden Administration has been in talks with several Central Asian countries to reposition its troops, to prevent the landlocked Afghanistan from becoming a base for terrorist groups.

However, U.S officials have yet to name Pakistan in this strategy, despite the fact that it shares a 2600km border with Afghanistan.

Qureshi noted that the Taliban's engagement in the Afghan peace process would enhance the “international respectability and recognition” that the group required, in an effort to encourage them to stop their violent campaign and negotiate a political settlement with their Afghan counterparts.

“If they want to be acceptable, if they want delisting to take place, if they want recognition then engagement, giving up violence and looking for a political solution is in their political interest,” he said.