Connect with us

Pakistan

US, Pakistan in talks on use of airspace for Afghanistan operations: Report

The Biden administration is nearing a formalized agreement with Pakistan for use of its airspace to conduct military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan, CNN reported

Published

on

US, Pakistan in talks on use of airspace for Afghanistan operations: Report
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Washington: The Biden administration is nearing a formalized agreement with Pakistan for use of its airspace to conduct military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan, CNN reported.

 

The report by CNN, which has quoted three sources familiar with the matter, states that Pakistan has expressed a desire to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in exchange for assistance with its own counterterrorism efforts and help in managing the relationship with India.

 

However, the negotiations are ongoing and the terms of the agreement, which has not been finalised, could still change.

 

It is pertinent to mention here that in May, foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told Pakistan’s Senate that Islamabad would not provide its military bases to the US for future counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and also would not allow drone attacks inside Pakistan.

 

“I want to assure the House that Pakistan is in safe hands,” he said.

 

On October 1, Qureshi made a U-turn saying that the proposal of using Pakistan airspace is up for discussion with the Imran-led administration.  

 

Looking at all the pros and cons, Pakistan will decide what is in the interest of its security, national security and regional stability.

 

"Pakistan will take a decision accordingly,” Qureshi said during a press conference.

 

Moreover, the US is also reportedly mulling to establish its military presence in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to conduct so-called “over-the-horizon operations” in Afghanistan.

 

Currently, the US conducts its over-the-horizon operations from bases in the Middle East (Gulf countries), forcing drones to fly from distant bases, such as those in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, around Iran and through Pakistani air space before reaching Afghanistan.

 

The briefing comes as the White House is still trying to ensure that it can carry out counterterrorism operations against ISIS-K and other adversaries in Afghanistan.

Mehak Javed

Mehak Javed is immensely creative and an enthusiastic journalist, contributing in the publication of timely and accurate news. She is a skilled writer along proven history of achievement in the field with several years of professional experience. Mehak is working with GNN since 2020.

Pakistan

NA, Senate sessions to be held today

Besides legislative business, both the Houses will take up matters pertaining to national and international importance. 

Published by Mehak Javed

Published

on

NA, Senate sessions to be held today

Islamabad: Sessions of the Senate and the National Assembly (NA) will separately be held at the Parliament House in Islamabad at 4 pm on Monday (January 17).

Besides legislative business, both the Houses will take up matters pertaining to national and international importance. 

Continue Reading

Regional

PML-N asks for ‘deal’ for four people: Shahbaz Gill

Special assistant claims Shehbaz Sharif will soon find himself behind the bars

Published by Faisal Waqas

Published

on

PML-N asks for ‘deal’ for four people: Shahbaz Gill

Faisalabad: Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill on Sunday claimed that Opposition Leader in National Assembly and former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked for a deal for four people.

Addressing a press conference in Faisalabad on Sunday, Shahbaz Gill said that the PMLN was demanding that Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, and Maryam Nawaz be allowed to leave the country. The fourth person, according to Gill, is Nawaz Sharif who is already in London.

Shahbaz Gill also said that the PMLN wants former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to stay in Pakistan and lead the PMLN politics. He said that the government would not give a deal to the Sharifs.

He compared the Sharifs’ demand for a deal with deals served at restaurants. “You are confronted by Imran Khan. We won’t allow you a boiled potato or a corncob and you are asking for a chicken piece. You won’t get a deal … You can only curse and get cursed.”

Shahbaz Gill also said that the law would take its due course and Shehbaz Sharif will soon find himself behind the bars. He said Nawaz Sharif will land in jail when he return to Pakistan.

On the other hand, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry in a separate media briefing also spoke about the Sharif family, claiming that there is a "race" underway among four leading members.

"When the four big leaders went to meet 'someone', they said that 'Nawaz Sharif did not do right by the country, why don't you consider us?'," the minister claimed further.

Continue Reading

World

North Korea fires two suspected ballistic missiles: S. Korea  

The projectiles were, reportedly, fired from an airport in North Korea’s capital city of Pyongyang.

Published by Mehak Javed

Published

on

North Korea fires two suspected ballistic missiles: S. Korea  

Seoul: North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) Monday—the fourth test this month to demonstrate its expanding missile arsenal, South Korea's military reported. 

The projectiles were, reportedly, fired from an airport in North Korea’s capital city of Pyongyang.

Japan also reported the launch, with chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno condemning it as a threat to peace and security.

In less than two weeks, nuclear-armed North Korea has conducted three other missile tests, an unusually rapid series of launches. It said two of them involved single "hypersonic missiles" capable of high speed and manoeuvring after launch, while a test on Friday involved a pair of short-range ballistic missiles fired from train cars.

Monday's launch appeared to involve two SRBMs fired east from Sunan Airfield in Pyongyang, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

North Korea used the airport to test fire the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) in 2017, with leader Kim Jong Un in attendance.

As per reports, the missiles travelled about 380 km (236 miles) to a maximum altitude of 42 km (26 miles).

Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said the missiles appeared to have landed in the ocean near North Korea's east coast.

The U.S. military's Indo-Pacific Command said it assessed that the launch did not pose an immediate threat to the United States or its allies, but "these missile launches highlight the destabilising impact of North Korea's illicit weapons programme".

The pace of testing and the different launch sites suggests that North Korea has enough missiles to feel comfortable expending them on tests, training, and demonstrations, and helps reinforce its deterrent credibility by emphasizing the volume of its missile force, said Mason Richey, a professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul.

North Korea has not tested its longest-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or nuclear weapons since 2017, but after denuclearisation talks stalled in 2019, it began unveiling and testing a range of new SRBM designs.

Many of the latest SRBMs, including the hypersonic missiles, appear designed to evade missile defences. North Korea has also vowed to pursue tactical nuclear weapons, which could allow it to deploy nuclear warheads on SRBMs.

"Every tactical missile launch flaunts how little sanctions have constrained the Kim regime, and how the U.S. ... has failed to make North Korea pay a sufficient cost for short-range missile programme development," Richey said.

'Isolating and Stifling'

The latest launches have drawn both condemnation and an appeal for dialogue from a U.S. administration that has imposed new sanctions over North Korean missile launches and is pushing for more.

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration imposed its first new sanctions on Pyongyang on Wednesday, and called on the U.N. Security Council to blacklist several North Korean individuals and entities. It also repeated calls for North Korea to return to talks aimed at reducing tension and persuading it to surrender its arsenal of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

North Korea has defended the missile tests as its sovereign right to self-defence and accused the United States of intentionally intensifying confrontation with new sanctions.

In a statement before Friday's missile tests, the North Korean foreign ministry said that although the United States might talk of diplomacy and dialogue, its actions showed it was still engrossed in its policy of "isolating and stifling" North Korea.

South Korea's national security council held an emergency meeting after Monday's test, with members stressing that "above all else, it is essential to start dialogue as soon as possible in order for the situation on the Korean Peninsula to not become more strained and to restore stability", the presidential Blue House said in a statement.

The launches came as North Korea, more isolated than ever under self-imposed border closures aimed at preventing a COVID-19 pandemic, appeared to be preparing to open at least some trade across its land border with China.

Chinese brokers said they expect the resumption of regular trade with North Korea soon after a North Korean train pulled into a Chinese border town on Sunday in the first such crossing since anti-coronavirus lockdowns began in 2020.

Zhao Tong, a Beijing-based nuclear policy expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said North Korea had few reasons to hold back its missile development.

Leader Kim appeared to have little hope of a breakthrough with the United States, and China’s sympathy for North Korea and antipathy towards the United States could encourage North Korea to think that China was unlikely to support any effort by the international community to censure it for the tests, he added.

"North Korea may think this is a safe time to advance its missile development," Zhao said.

Last week, China criticised the new U.S. sanctions but also called on all sides to act prudently and engage in dialogue to reduce tensions.

China says it enforces existing international sanctions on North Korea, but has joined with Russia to urge the U.N. Security Council to ease the measures, saying they hurt the civilian population.

SOURCE: REUTERS 

 

Continue Reading

Trending