ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has once again refused to give military bases to the United States, saying that it may be a wish of the United States but Pakistan has the right to look after its own interests.
According to details, during a conversation with a private TV program, the foreign minister said that there was no question that Pakistan would provide military bases to the United States. “Pakistan puts its own interests first,” he maintained.
During the interview, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that in this regard, we had briefed the opposition political parties and made it clear that Pakistan has no intention of giving military bases to the US while the United States is withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
FM Qureshi said that we want to progress in the peace process with the withdrawal of US troops, “Pakistan wants to see Afghanistan as a peaceful country,” he asserted.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan has an important role to play in the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan. The world is not considering Pakistan as part of the peace process but as part of the solution. “I have repeatedly stated that some elements are against peace and security in the region,” he claimed.
On the other hand, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, while maintaining his previous position, said during the special briefing that talks have been held with Pakistan and other countries regarding US military bases.
National Security Adviser Sullivan said he could not give details of what was discussed on the matter, adding that talks had been held with Pakistan over the defense, diplomatic, and intelligence levels. He explained that the United States is in talks with other countries in the region besides Pakistan. The details of the talks on providing military bases from Pakistan cannot be disclosed.
It should be noted that this is not the first time that Pakistan has refused to provide military bases to the United States. Earlier, FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan did not provide military or air bases to the United States and did not allow air strikes anywhere in the country.