Prime Minister Imran Khan has ruled out hosting American bases in Pakistan for military action inside war-torn Afghanistan, fearing it might lead to his country being "targeted in revenge attacks" by terrorists.
In an opinion piece in ‘The Washington Post’ ahead of US President Joe Biden’s meeting with top Afghan leaders at the White House later this week, Khan questioned the efficacy of such US bases in Pakistan.
“We simply cannot afford this. We have already paid too heavy a price,” Khan said, amid reports the US continues to focus on Pakistan for a military base in the region.
Elaborating the reasons for not giving nod the US to have bases in Pakistan, which were earlier allowed after 9/11 to coordinate operations in Afghanistan, the prime minister said, “If Pakistan were to agree to host US bases, from which to bomb Afghanistan, and an Afghan civil war ensued, Pakistan would be targeted for revenge by terrorists again.”
As per reports, the US used the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan for hundreds of drone strikes since 2008. The strikes focused on suspected Qaeda operatives in mountainous tribal areas.
Terrorist safe havens must be dismantled for peace in Afghanistan: India
India said on Tuesday terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted for enduring peace in Afghanistan as it called for zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border attacks. During a UNSC debate on the UN assistance mission in Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar pressed for a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in the war-torn nation to ensure immediate reduction in violence and protection of civilian lives.
“For enduring peace in Afghanistan, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted. There needs to be zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including its cross-border one,” he said.
14 Taliban militants dead in Afghan airstrike
Kabul: 14 Taliban militants were killed after the Afghan Air Force targeted a hideout of the terror group in Samangan province, the Defence Ministry announced on Tuesday. The late Monday night strike in Qushmal village of Firoz Nakhchir suburban district destroyed 5 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 2 heavy guns, and 7 assault rifles, the Ministry said.
5 civilians killed in roadside bombing
Five civilians were killed and 4 others wounded as a roadside bomb struck a vehicle in Ahmad Abad district of Paktia province, an official said. “The deadly roadside bombing which targeted a civilian vehicle in Machalgo area of Ahmad Abad district on Monday afternoon claimed 5 lives comprising a woman, 2 children and 2 men and injured 4 others. All were civilians,” provincial government spokesman Abdul Rahman Mangal told Xinhua.