The dispute over the US control over the Shamsi air base in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province has centered around the base’s use as a source of CIA attack drones. Despite this, officials from both the US and Pakistan confirm, the base hasn’t been used for armed drone flights in months.
Rather officials say that all of the drone attacks against Pakistan’s tribal areas for the past three months have come out of Afghanistan, from air bases near the city of Jalalabad. It is unclear to what extent Shamsi is still being used,
The controversy over the Shamsi base came to a boil earlier this week when Defense Minister Mukhtar made public his government’s demand that the US abandon the base and return it to Pakistani control.
Incredibly, the Obama Administration responded by insisting that they have no intention of leaving the base. The stance went from provocative to downright perplexing, however, considering that the base isn’t even being used for attacks anymore.