Sunday, July 10, 2011

'Pakistan must evict US from secret base'

Former ISI director General Hamid Gu

Source: Press TV

Former ISI director General Hamid Gul says Pakistan should order the United States to leave a remote secret airbase in the country's southwestern Balochistan Province.

General Gul says the US has used the base to launch air strikes on targets on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan, IRNA reported on Saturday.

The remarks come as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been using the airbase to station its unmanned predator drones.

The drones have been used to attack targets inside Pakistan's tribal areas killing several hundred innocent civilians.

The base was also extensively used in 2001 when the US-led invasion of Afghanistan began.

The Pakistani military had reportedly allowed the US to use Shamsi, Jacobabad, and two other bases - Pasni and Dalbadin - in its 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

However, the then military government, led by Pervez Musharraf, said Americans had left the bases in 2006.

The former ISI chief also emphasized that the US has left no door open for negotiation after its special forces allegedly killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a unilateral and covert operation in Abbottabad in early May.

He also urged the Islamabad government to review its ties with the Americans due to repeated breach of Pakistani sovereignty by US forces.

General Gul also concluded that the US was developing contingency plans and hatching Plots to destabilize Pakistan.

Pakistan has also called on the US to steeply reduce the number of CIA operatives and halt the non-UN-sanctioned drone attacks on its soil.

Meanwhile, reports say US President Barack Obama has rejected Islamabad's call for more transparency regarding CIA operations in the country.

The US invaded Afghanistan with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the region, however, after nine years the region remains unstable and militancy has expanded towards Pakistan.

Analysts say the US is looking for an excuse to expand its military operations in the troubled South and Central Asian region to secure bases near Russia and China.

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