Fears of Backlash in Islamabad as ‘US Uses Pakistani Airspace to Bomb Taliban Targets in Afghanistan’

US bombing raids against Taliban* targets in Afghanistan come at a time when the Islamist insurgent group has been seizing Afghan cities one after another. On Monday, Taliban fighters claimed to have captured their sixth provincial capital since last week. Around a dozen Afghan cities, including Kandahar, are now under siege.

American air strikes against Taliban targets in Afghanistan in support of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have triggered security and political concerns in Islamabad on account of the possible use of Pakistani airspace by American aircraft.

US B-52 bombers and Spectre gunships over the weekend carried out bombing raids on Taliban targets in Kandahar, Herat, and Helmand provinces, as per the Afghan Defence Ministry and the Taliban.

The Times reported that the American aircraft have been using an air base in Qatar to fly these missions.

Iranian media reported back in April that the US was basing its B-52 bombers in Qatar to support the troop withdrawal process, which is set to conclude by 31 August.

As per satellite data, the American aircraft are entering Afghanistan through Pakistani airspace.

​The Boulevard is an air corridor above Pakistan’s Balochistan Province that exists due to an Air Lines of Communication (ALOC) agreement between the governments of Pakistan and the United States dating back to 2004.

​While Pakistan has refused to host any US military assets once the foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan, the two nations…

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