ISLAMABAD: Amid the final drawdown of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, Pakistan has made it clear that it will not allow any foreign military bases on its soil after the pullback of foreign forces from the neighbouring country.
"We will not allow boots on the ground or military bases on our territory," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told media in Islamabad on Tuesday, as quoted by Pajhwok Afghan News agency.
This comes as the Joe Biden administration is reportedly in talks with several Central Asian countries on where it could redeploy troops to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a base for terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda.
The Pakistan foreign minister said that Islamabad firmly stood with Afghanistan in its efforts for peace, prosperity, and national reconciliation. "We will remain partners in peace with Afghanistan and will continue to play our role as a facilitator," he added.
Qureshi stressed that a negotiated political solution was in the interest of Afghanistan. Furthermore, he welcomed the latest ceasefire between the Taliban and the Afghan government and, hoping this latest development would create a conducive environment for talks.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attaches great importance to the role of Pakistan in establishing peace in Afghanistan and the country's influence on the Taliban, the Presidential Palace said on Monday after Ghani's meeting with Pakistan army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Ghani added that Afghanistan and Pakistan have no choice but to opt for mutual respect, good neighbourliness, and economic cooperation.
Ghani further said that there is no military solution for the ongoing war in Afghanistan and that the Taliban's insistence to stick to a military solution is unacceptable for the people of Afghanistan. He termed stability in the two countries interrelated to each other and called for an effective and sincere role to be played by Pakistan for ensuring enduring peace in Afghanistan.