Opposition quiz Pak govt on US claims of airspace use for Afghan ops

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Representative image
Representative image

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 25 (ANI): A few days after a Pentagon official said that Pakistan had allowed the US military to use the country's airspace to support its operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan's opposition on Monday asked Imran Khan government to explain to National Assembly about the remark made by US official on the "overflight" support.

This issue came to light after David F. Helvey, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Affairs, told the US Senate Armed Services Committee last week that Pakistan has allowed them to have overflight and access to be able to support our military presence in Afghanistan, The Express Tribune reported.

"Pakistan has played an important role in Afghanistan. They supported the Afghan peace process. Pakistan also has allowed us to have overflight and access to be able to support our military presence in Afghanistan," Helvey said. "We will continue our conversations with Pakistan because their support and contribution to the future of Afghanistan, to future peace in Afghanistan, is going to be critical," he added.

After the overflight issue was raised by a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader on Helvey's remarks, Pakistan's State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan responded by saying that Pakistan was playing a role in peace in Afghanistan and that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would deliver the policy statement in House.

Later on Monday, Pakistan's Foreign Office said that there was no US military or airbase in Pakistan; nor was any such proposal envisaged.

"Any speculation on this account was baseless and irresponsible and should be avoided," Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafiz Chaudhri said in a statement, as quoted by Tribune.

"Pakistan and the US have a framework of cooperation in terms of Air Lines of Communication (ALOC) and Ground Lines of Communication (GLOC) in place since 2001. No new agreement has been made in this regard," the spokesperson added.

Last month, US President Joe Biden announced to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11 this year. US withdrawal is underway and set to complete by September 11.(ANI)

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