Since President Biden ordered the withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan, US military officials have been hoping to reposition forces in neighboring countries. On Tuesday, Pakistan ruled out the possibility that it would be used as a base for US operations in Afghanistan or any other US wars.
Speaking to reporters in Islamabad, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan has adopted a policy that allows it to become “only partners in peace” and not join any future US war.
“No sir, we do not intend to allow boots on the ground and no [US] bases are being transferred to Pakistan,” Qureshi said when asked if Islamabad is under pressure to host US troops.
US officials have said they are considering repositioning forces leaving Afghanistan into Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, or Uzbekistan, but Washington has no basing agreements with these Central Asian countries.
“We will look at all the countries in the region, our diplomats will reach out, and we’ll talk about places where we could base those resources,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Commands, told Congress in April. McKenzie said it would be “harder” but “not impossible” to bomb Afghanistan after the withdrawal.
The US plans to continue supporting the Afghan military financially and is considering training the Afghan forces in other countries.
President Biden has ordered all combat troops to leave Afghanistan by September 11th. On Tuesday, CENTCOM said the withdrawal was about six to 12 percent complete.