The United States Department of Defence for Indo-Pacific Affairs David F. Helvey demonstrated this matter with Senate Armed Services Committee that US was trying its best come up with multiple alternatives to access Afghanistan as to help out our military personnel and counter terrorism there. In this regard, the talks have been shared other regional states and particularly Pakistan and she gives overflight access to Afghanistan but Foreign Office Spokesperson denied it.
Following that, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudri later told journalists in Islamabad that “there is no US military or air base in Pakistan, nor was any such proposal envisaged. Any speculation on this account is baseless and irresponsible and should be avoided.”
On Monday, which was the first working day since Friday’s Senate hearing where Helvey claimed having overflight access to Afghanistan, the issue resurfaced at an afternoon news briefing at the Pentagon.
“Is there anything that the US is looking for right now from Pakistan in terms of what happens after the withdrawal (from Afghanistan) is complete? Is there any update on other possible basing agreements in the region for counter-terrorism operations once the Afghan withdrawal is done?” a journalist asked.
“I don’t have any specific updates in terms of the potential for overseas bases there, after our withdrawal. These are obviously diplomatic discussions that are ongoing and are clearly not complete,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby responded.
“We’re exploring a range of options and opportunities to be able to provide a credible and viable over-the-horizon counter-terrorism capability, and there’s lots of ways you can do that. Overseas basing is just one of them. So, nothing to report on that front.”
Kirby indicated that the US was also consulting other countries in the region for having access to Afghanistan. “And I certainly wouldn’t speak to, in any greater detail, with respect to any one country,” he said.
Earlier, in his opening statement Kirby said that US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin called Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday “to discuss shared regional interests and objectives”.
During the call, “the secretary reiterated his appreciation for Pakistan’s support for the Afghanistan peace negotiations and expressed his desire to continue to build on the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship,” he added.
Responding to another question, Kirby said the US secretary’s discussion with Gen Bajwa was “very useful and dealt with a range of bilateral opportunities that our two countries have going forward”.
When a journalist asked if Austin discussed “a possible basing agreement” with Pakistan in his call to Gen Bajwa, Kirby said: “I’ll just leave it to the readout and the degree of specificity in the readout.”
Another journalist pointed out that Pakistan’s foreign ministry had ruled out the possibility of providing any base to the US military. The Pentagon officials, however, said he would not comment on inconclusive talks.
Another journalist reminded Kirby that the Trump administration had stopped security aid to Pakistan because of its alleged non-cooperation in the fight against terrorism. “Is this new administration reviewing that policy — where do you stand on that?” the journalist asked.
“At this time, US security assistance to Pakistan is still suspended, and I won’t get into speculating one way or another about if or whether that will change going forward,” the Pentagon official said.
not work this time: US talkin