US close to a formal agreement with Pakistan to use its airspace for military operations in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON – The United States is close to a formal agreement with Pakistan to use its airspace for military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan, *CNN * link Friday.
The report of US-based media outlet quoted sources privy to the details of Friday’s classified briefing with Congress members as saying the South Asian country expressed the desire to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US in exchange for assistance with its own efforts against terrorism other than 'normal relations' with arch-rival India.
It further stated that the negotiations are not finalized yet as it could still change. The US forces presently use Pakistan’s airspace to reach the war-ravaged country as part of intelligence-gathering efforts however, a formal agreement has to be signed to ensure continued access.
The recent developments were discussed when US officials visited Pakistan while the Biden administration is also looking at Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to establish a military presence to conduct operations in Afghanistan.
US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman also visited Uzbekistan and discussed proposals with Shavkat Mirziyoyev earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin along with some other politicians expected to oppose the idea of using other countries’ air space for operations in Afghanistan.
Biden, who termed US withdrawal the ‘right decision’ to end the 20-year military presence in Afghanistan, earlier mentioned its ability to operate in the country, even if US troops were no longer on the ground.
In June, Prime Minister Imran Khan categorically denied allowing any bases and use of its territory to the US for any sort of action inside Afghanistan.