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CIA chief told drone bases won’t be hosted

waz

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CIA chief told drone bases won’t be hosted
Baqir Sajjad SyedPublished June 9, 2021 - Updated about 4 hours ago
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CIA Director William Burns testifies during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing about worldwide threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 14. — Reuters

CIA Director William Burns testifies during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing about worldwide threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 14. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Government officials have privately begun confirming a secret visit to Islamabad of CIA Director William Burns and are suggesting that he was firmly told that Pakistan would not host the spy agency’s drone bases on its territory.

This comes after New York Times in an article published on June 6 claimed that Mr Burns had travelled to Pakistan for meetings with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hamid to explore the possibility of counterterrorism cooperation between the two sides.

Read: US-Pakistan talks on military bases reach impasse: report

The Central Intelligence Agency is said to be looking for bases around Afghanistan from where it could gather intelligence on Afghanistan and execute counterterrorism strikes after the completion of troop withdrawal from there.

Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, in response to a question about the US seeking a drone base in Pakistan, said: “We have had constructive discussions in the military, intelligence and diplomatic channels with Pakistan about the future of America’s capabilities to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a base from which Al Qaeda rises or any other terrorist group can attack the United States.”

Although the exact date of the CIA director’s hours-long trip has not been disclosed by either side, it is believed to have taken place in late April.

The purpose of quietly sharing of information by the Pakistani officials with select journalists at this stage apparently looked to dispel the impression that the two sides were engaged in negotiations on hosting of US drone bases by Pakistan.

New York Times article had at one point said that American officials believed that Pakistan wanted to allow the US to access a base. But, it indicated that Pakistani officials were setting very stringent conditions.

“In discussions between American and Pakistani officials, the Pakistanis have demanded a variety of restrictions in exchange for the use of a base in the country, and they have effectively required that they sign off on any targets that either the CIA or the military would want to hit inside Afghanistan, according to three Americans familiar with the discussions,” as per the article.

Discussions between Pakistan and the US on this issue over the past few weeks have taken place at multiple levels — between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, NSA Moeed Yusuf and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan, Gen Bajwa and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, COAS/DG ISI and CIA chief, and the army chief and the US charge d’affaires.

Officials said the CIA chief wanted to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, but was plainly told that only counterpart meeting between heads of government of the two countries was possible.

The government’s insistence on counterpart meeting also stems from its anger over the absence of engagement at the highest level since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

The officials further said the CIA chief was categorically conveyed that no US operation would be allowed from Pakistani territory. They rather suggested to have asked the Americans to hand over the drones to them for carrying out the strikes against terrorist targets.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2021

CIA chief told drone bases won’t be hosted - Newspaper - DAWN.COM
CIA boss refused a meeting with Imran and the Secretary of State refused a phone call.
That’s the way to do it.
Biden can carry on his wonderful policy.
 

VCheng

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CIA boss refused a meeting with Imran and the Secretary of State refused a phone call.
That’s the way to do it.
Biden can carry on his wonderful policy.
No policy is static, by any side. Both parties will continue to try and see what works and what does not, to get the most possible out of the other side while giving up the least. That is the way it always goes in international geopolitics.
 

Goenitz

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execute counterterrorism strikes after the completion of troop withdrawal from there.
amb sa karen ga yeh log if drones aren't there? The jets payload is very heavy and not accurate, if accurate then expensive. TB1 of turkey is far more accurate and uses low yield weapons.

Though I guess a blatant refusal is not a diplomatic win. We should allow like <500 troops with some helicopters for marines. No intelligence or any other aircraft.
 

IceCold

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Both parties will continue to try and see what works and what does not, to get the most possible out of the other side while giving up the least
Honestly US has always been in a habit of armtwisting to get its way rather than offering anything. In other circumstances our very own corrupt sold pakistan out for their own personal petty gains. We are as much to be blamed as US for developing this mind frame. However things never tend to remain the same than why does US insist on dealing with the new pakistan by approaching it the old way?
 

VCheng

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Honestly US has always been in a habit of armtwisting to get its way rather than offering anything. In other circumstances our very own corrupt sold pakistan out for their own personal petty gains. We are as much to be blamed as US for developing this mind frame. However things never tend to remain the same than why does US insist on dealing with the new pakistan by approaching it the old way?
What makes you think USA and Pakistan are still dealing with each other the old way this time around? We can clearly see how things have already changed, and will change more in the days to come.
 

IceCold

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What makes you think USA and Pakistan are still dealing with each other the old way this time around? We can clearly see how things have already changed, and will change more in the days to come.
For starters why did Biden not called PM khan and instead his foreign sec and cia chief did? Is this the mindset of someone dealing the new way? Certainly not!
 

VCheng

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For starters why did Biden not called PM khan and instead his foreign sec and cia chief did? Is this the mindset of someone dealing the new way? Certainly not!
Well, I said the new way, which may be "different", not "better" than the old way! :D
 

IceCold

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When was the last time any Pakistani government refused American bases?
Neither the Americans nor some here due to their personal bhugzz against Khan, are willing to accept that there is a change in the way things are being run in Pakistan.
 

maverick1977

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How many times we have heard this story and how many times we have found otherwise
That was my first thought reading this post. i agree, the released news is going to be poles apart of what must have been agreed upon.
 

airmarshal

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Last time, Pakistan Army Chiefs condemned each and every one of the drone strikes publically always claiming it could be "counter-productive" and then we found that Pakistan Army Jawans were the ones polishing the tyres of the drones based at Shamsi Air Base for nearly a decade.

Shamsi Airfield


C.I.A. Leaves Base in Pakistan Used for Drone Strikes: NY Times

Who is daft enough to trust Pakistani Generals again?
Wondering why negative rating? The drone strikes which wreaked havoc in Pakistan could not have been conducted without Army's top command nod. IT was General Musharraf who gave the go ahead.

If Imran Khan does that, it will end his political career and it will be next to impossible to evict Americans. It will be impossible now as before, they had their base in Afghanistan. Once they are gone, they can make any number of excuses to not leave.
 

Ace of Spades

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Neither the Americans nor some here due to their personal bhugzz against Khan, are willing to accept that there is a change in the way things are being run in Pakistan.
I am rather concerned about the establishment's role. Let's see if there is any change of heart there. So far no rebuttal from ISPR. Govt's spokespersons are giving statements so far.
 

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