The Taliban said on Wednesday that they will consider the establishment of US military bases in Central Asia after withdrawal from Afghanistan as “provocative acts” and urged the neighboring countries not to allow using their territory “against the security of others.”
The official response came following media reports that the United States may stay in the region after withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, which is expected to be done by September, and open military bases in neighboring countries to monitor and control the situation.
“We urge neighboring countries not to allow anyone to do so,” the Taliban said, stressing that foreign forces became the root cause of the conflict in the region and the suffering of its people.
The Islamist group called such a step a mistake and warned about consequences, saying it will not “remain silent before such heinous and provocative acts.”
“As we have repeatedly assured others that our soil will not be used against the security of others, we are similarly urging others not to use their soil and airspace against our country.
If such a step is taken, then the responsibility for all the misfortunes and difficulties lies upon those who commit such mistakes,” the statement said.
In February 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed the first peace agreement in 18 years, which envisions the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and the launch of the intra-Afghan dialogue. Talks started in Doha last September.
Despite the withdrawal of foreign troops and continued peace talks, armed hostilities between Afghan government forces and the Taliban continue.
US Military Base In Central Asia
Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US is exploring options to station its soldiers in Central Asia and the Middle East after the US-led NATO troops exit Afghanistan.
The report mentions that the US military commanders wanted bases that can house its soldiers, drones, bombers and artillery to support the Afghan government, control the Taliban and other terror groups like ISIS.
The report mentions that the US would ideally want a base in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan or both (as it borders Afghanistan) so that it can act quickly, as and when required.
Key sources told the WSJ that Pentagon wants bases that are close to Afghanistan so that the US can quickly deploy both men and material in the case, for example, an attack on its consulate in Kabul.
US Military Base In Pakistan
There were wide speculations that Pakistan could host US soldiers after their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
According to a report by the BBC Urdu, Pakistan Air Force has confirmed that it is planning to set up a new airbase in the Nasirabad district of Balochistan to step up military presence in the region.
According to the report, the service has already reviewed and acquired land for the airbase. Earlier in May, it was reported that the officials arrived in the conflict-torn region who had then proposed a tract of land to be acquired for establishing the base.
The airbase will be built in the Notal area of Nasirabad. It is said that the construction of a new airbase would help develop the region. For this, around 26,000 acres of land is to be acquired and the rate of private land had been fixed in 2020.
However, the Pakistan Foreign Office rejected the presence of any US military or airbase in Pakistan, stating that any speculation is “baseless and irresponsible” and should be avoided.
FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudri said: “There is no US military or airbase in Pakistan, nor was any such proposal envisaged. Any speculation on this account is baseless and irresponsible and should be avoided.”