Islamabad (EMS). The US may once again conduct counter-terrorism operations against ISIS-K and other adversaries in Afghanistan. It is reported that Imran Khan may allow the US to use Pakistani airspace for attacks in Afghanistan. Two lawmakers from the Biden administration have said that Pakistan can make a deal with the US to use its airspace to run military and intelligence missions in Afghanistan. Not only this, Pakistan has also expressed its willingness to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US in return for improving its relations with India. Pakistan wants America to put pressure on India. A report has claimed that this agreement is still being finalized. As such, the terms of the agreement are subject to change at any time. Just a few days ago, the White House made a statement that the US may conduct an anti-terrorist operation against ISIS-K and other opponents in Afghanistan. However, due to the absence of American troops and airbase in Afghanistan, it is a bit difficult for the US to carry out such a mission.
The US military so far uses Pakistan’s airspace to reach Afghanistan for intelligence gathering. But, the US has no formal agreement with the Imran Khan government to always use Pakistani airspace. In such a situation, if Pakistan closes its airspace, then it can be a difficult task for America to enter Afghanistan. Because Afghanistan is a country surrounded by land from all sides.
Sources said an agreement was discussed when US officials visited Pakistan. But, it is not yet clear what Pakistan wants or how much the US is willing to give in return. With no formal agreement currently in place, the US risks operating its drones and military aircraft to Afghanistan via Pakistan. If ever something untoward happens, Pakistan can directly deny and America will not be able to do anything even if it wants to. A Pentagon spokesman said the Defense Department could not comment on any secret conversations. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan issued a statement saying that no such deal has been done between the two countries. However, it must be mentioned that Pakistan and the US have long-standing cooperation in regional security and counter-terrorism and both sides are engaged in regular talks. Pakistan on Saturday dismissed reports of a deal with the US on the use of its airspace for intelligence operations in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. The Pakistani Foreign Office issued a statement in response to media queries that indicated the formalization of an agreement between the two countries to conduct military and intelligence operations against Afghanistan.