Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan will never provide its military or air bases to the US and never permit Washington to conduct air strikes within the country.

Foreign Minister Qureshi told the Parliament on Tuesday that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan would never provide its bases to the US.

He was talking about a Pentagon official’s statement that Pakistan had allowed the US military to use its airspace and given ground access so that it could support its presence in Afghanistan. 

The foreign minister said Islamabad would never allow drone attacks to take place inside Pakistan.

“I want to assure the House that Pakistan is in safe hands,” he added.

Responding to the concern of lawmakers on the scenario after the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, he said the US favoured a responsible, orderly withdrawal. “Because what we were fearing and we still fear and are concerned that a vacuum created in Afghanistan can drag or suck the country back into the decade of 1990s. There could be anarchy and God forbid a civil war.”

He said as the US planned to move out of the country by September 11, Pakistan would continue playing its role as a mediator in the conflict to ensure peace in Afghanistan. 

On the Palestine issue, Qureshi said the first aim of a ceasefire had been achieved. The UN Secretary General had been asked to play his role for a permanent solution to the problem for durable peace in the Middle East, he added. 

Qureshi said the president of the UN General Assembly would arrive in Pakistan on Thursday on a visit on his invitation.

The house unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the “unprovoked” war of aggression unleashed by Israel against innocent Palestinians in occupied territories.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
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