Pakistan has denied the rumors alluding to the formalization of a deal between Islamabad and Washington for use of the country’s airspace by the United States to conduct military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied the latest news reports alluding to such an agreement and stated that “no such understanding was in place”.
In an earlier interview with a foreign channel in June, Prime Minister Imran Khan had categorically said that Pakistan would “absolutely not” allow any bases and use of its territory for any sort of action inside Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister said, “Absolutely not. There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not.”
“Pakistan and the US have longstanding cooperation on regional security and counter-terrorism and the two sides remain engaged in regular consultations.”
Earlier, the opposition had also demanded from the government to give an explanation to the house about claims made by a senior Pentagon official that Pakistan had allowed the US military to use the country’s airspace to support its presence in Afghanistan.
Then on Friday, CNN reported that Pakistan is willing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in exchange for US’s assistance with Pakistan’s own counterterrorism efforts and help in managing the relationship with India.
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan stance on the issue
The newly-formed Taliban government has also called on all countries, especially the United States, to “act in accordance with international commitments and not encroach on Afghanistan’s airspace”.
A statement issued by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) had said that all the countries are the sole owners of the territorial and air sovereignty of their states under the international law, “therefore, the Islamic Emirate, as the sole legal entity of Afghanistan, is the guardian of Afghanistan’s land and airspace”.
The IEA said that the US drones are invading Afghanistan’s sacred airspace and such violations must be rectified and prevented.
The interim government in Afghanistan has urged all countries to respect the international laws under the guise of mutual respect and commitment to ‘prevent any negative consequences’.
The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan over after taking control of Kabul on August 15.