The leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto, has broken through the “current” government, led by Imran Khan, to agree to the establishment of a US military base in the country.
US President Joe Biden’s administration is believed to be in talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to deploy bases on Pakistani soil to allow US troops to leave Afghanistan.
At a press conference in Wali Bagh, Charsadda district on Sunday, the PPP chairman believed the United States would gain a base in Pakistan because of the changing situation in neighboring Afghanistan, the Pajhwok news agency reported.
He stressed that decisions about the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan must be made in consultation with all political leaders.
In contrast to the PPP government, which has taken a firm stance against drone attacks on Salalah checkpoints, Imran Khan’s government has no qualms about following in the footsteps of foreign forces, he said.
Amid the country’s public rhetoric not to provide foreign boots locally, Pakistan is making moves to give the Pentagon access to the country’s military bases while US forces withdraw from Afghanistan.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi previously told the media on May 11 in Islamabad: “We will not allow boots on land or military bases in our region.” Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also publicly denied that a “new agreement” has been reached at US military bases.
At the same time, Pakistan reiterates that the basic framework for air and ground support signed by the US military in 2001 remains in effect, according to the Asia Times.
The US Pentagon has announced that it will seek military bases in the region to monitor and prevent Afghanistan’s re-emergence as a hub for terrorism and anti-American activity.
As the Pentagon has confirmed, the United States is currently in fundamental discussions with Pakistan. Islamabad has agreed to provide “air access” to the United States to support its mission in Afghanistan. This reflects Pakistan’s desire for a new partnership with the United States.