ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has categorically said that Pakistan would “absolutely not” allow any bases and use of its territory for any sort of action inside Afghanistan. “Absolutely not. There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not,” the prime minister told "Axios on HBO" in an interview.
In an excerpt from the interview (full interview to be aired today) shared Saturday on Axios website, the interviewer Jonathan Swan questions, “Would you allow the American government to have CIA here in Pakistan to conduct cross border counter terrorism missions against Al-Qaeda ISIS or the Taliban? Stunned over his clear-cut response of “absolutely not,” the interviewer interrupted the prime minister asking “seriously?” to reconfirm his words. "Axios on HBO” is a documentary-news programme. The series has featured interviews with former US President Donald Trump, Sundar Pichai, Elon Musk, Mary Barra, now US President Joe Biden, Andrew Yang and Kamala Harris, among others.
Recently, in his address at Senate, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also ruled out the possibility of providing country’s military bases to the United States for counter terrorism operations in Afghanistan. He rejected as unfounded the reports to this effect and made it clear that the government would never provide military bases to the US, nor would allow drone attacks inside Pakistan.
In a cabinet briefing, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain also ruled out the possibility of any US airbase in Pakistan saying as all such facilities were under Pakistan's own use. He said it was the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government which ended ‘drone surveillance’ facility given to the US in past. “All the airbases are under the use of Pakistan. Right now, no negotiations in this regard are underway as Pakistan cannot give any airbase [to any country],” he said.