Following the United States’ decision to pull out security forces from terror-battered Afghanistan, neighbouring countries are worried a security vacuum may develop, while Pakistan fears it could be made a scapegoat in the stalemate situation.
Pakistan has denied the United States access to its land for building air bases, the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi confirmed. He added that Pakistan has to “look after its own interests.”
His statement comes after a media report stated that the US is scrambling to find new bases after withdrawing its military from Afghanistan, where they have been present for the past 20 years. There’s speculation that the Pentagon is exploring Pakistan as an option for its air bases to prevent Afghanistan from sliding into a civil war after the withdrawal of troops.
Washington’s negotiations with Islamabad over building a new base have reached an “impasse.” According to a New York Times report, CIA director William J Burns recently made an unannounced visit to Islamabad to meet the chief of Pakistan’s military and the head of the directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin also had multiple phone calls with Pakistani General Qamar Javed Bajwa about “getting the country’s help for future US operations.”
The Taliban, a Sunni Islamist movement and military organisation in Afghanistan, warned Afghanistan’s neighbours against…