Islamabad (Web Desk): Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday said Pakistan will not give airbases to the United States (US) if the government has decided against it.
The COAS was responding to questions posed by journalists after he had attended a military and intelligence briefing to parliamentarians on national security and the Afghanistan situation.
“You should have put this question to the government. Why have you asked this from me?” General Bajwa said when first questioned on the military’s position on this issue.
Later, the COAS stood by the government in saying no base would be given to the US.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has publicly refused to give military bases to the US for operations inside Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-torn country.
Washington had requested Islamabad's help to keep a check on the situation in Afghanistan and stop it from falling into the hands of terrorists.
On Thursday, an in-camera session of the Parliament Committee on National Security was held in Islamabad in which Director General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant General, Faiz Hameed briefed the political leadership on external and internal security issues and regional challenges, the Radio Pakistan reported.
The briefing especially focused on the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and situation in Afghanistan.
Chaired by National Assembly Security Committee Chairman and Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaiser, the briefing was attended by parliamentary leadership, members of the National Assembly and Senators.
The legislators were told that Pakistan has played a very sincere, positive and responsible role in Afghan peace process.
It was further told that Pakistan's concerted efforts have not only paved the way for dialogue between the confronting Afghan groups, but also facilitated the meaningful negotiations between the United States and Taliban.
The session was briefed that Pakistan firmly believes that peace and stability in Afghanistan would lead towards lasting peace in South Asia.
The meeting was informed that Pakistan would welcome a government which would be a real representative of Afghan people at all levels, and would continue playing its responsible role for Afghan peace.
The participants of the meeting were also informed that Pakistan's land is not being used against Afghanistan and expressed the hope that Afghanistan would also not allow to use its soil against Pakistan.
The session was told that around 90 percent Pak-Afghan border has been fenced while an effective system of customs and border control is also being enforced.
The political and parliamentary leadership expressed satisfaction over the briefing and exhibited their desire for peace, development and prosperity in Afghanistan.