National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf has said that Pakistan has not given a chance to the United States (US) to demand airbases after withdrawal from Afghanistan, reports The News.
In an interview with a private news channel, Moeed Yusuf said it was quite understandable that the US would be in search of airbases after leaving Afghanistan.
He said an article appeared in New York Times about the issue at hand and Pakistan had to clarify its position.
Yusuf said Pakistan’s position is that it cannot provide airbases to the US.
In an interview with Jonathan Swan of HBO Axios, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated Pakistan’s stance on the use of military bases and categorically stated that Pakistan will “absolutely not” allow the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to use bases on its soil for cross-border counter-terrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan.
Moeed said the New York Times story was not a coincidence as it created an atmosphere and Pakistan had to clarify its position on the issue.
The NSA said the world should not consider Pakistan ‘free for all’.
However, earlier this week, a senior western diplomat said that the US has “at no stage or at any level even asked” Pakistan for military bases, as its forces depart from Afghanistan.
“Nobody in the entire US administration asked for bases, and yet there is so much focus on the issue in Pakistan,” said the official.