The Foreign Office has denied that there is a US military or air base in Pakistan after reports that Pakistan will provide ground and air access to the US for operations in Afghanistan.
Addressing media in Islamabad on Monday, the foreign office spokesman said that any speculation on the US bases in Pakistan was baseless and irresponsible and should be avoided.
He also denied that there was any such proposal under consideration.
He said that Pakistan and the US have a framework of cooperation in terms of air lines of communication (ALOC) and ground lines of communication (GLOC) in place since 2001.
“No new agreement has been made in this regard,” he added.
There are speculations after a media report stated that Pakistan would continue to provide air and ground access to the US military for its Afghan operations after it withdrew all its troops in coming September.
Meanwhile, PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Siraj-ul-Haq have warned the government against allowing the US army to use military bases in Pakistan.
They rejected the foreign office statement and asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to clarify the US administration’s claim that Islamabad has allowed Washington to use its military bases and air space.
PAKISTAN TO HELP US:
This statement comes amid reports that Pakistan will allow the “US military to have overflight and access to be able to support its presence in Afghanistan”.
Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Affairs David F Helvey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the US will continue its conversation with Pakistan due to the “important role it has played to support the peace process in the neighbouring war-torn country.”
Helvey said in response to Senator Joe Manchin’s question that Pakistan has played an important role in Afghanistan and they have supported the Afghan peace process.
“We will continue our conversations with Pakistan because their support and their contribution to the future of Afghanistan, the future of peace in Afghanistan is going to be critical.”
NO US BASES IN PAKISTAN:
As US troops prepare to leave Afghanistan by September 11, Pakistan has already ruled out the possibility of providing its military bases to the United States for future counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made the remarks to reporters in Islamabad, explaining that his government has adopted a policy that allows it to be “only partners in peace,” and not involved in any future US war, the outlet quoted the federal minister.
“No sir, we do not intend to allow boots on the ground and no [US] bases are being transferred to Pakistan,” Qureshi said when asked whether his government is under pressure to give military bases to the US.