The Defence Ministry Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar has said that trust deficit between Pakistan and the United States has increased after the Abbottabad raid on 2nd of May, the US has withheld the payments of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) while Pakistan has asked Washington to vacate the Shamsi airbase.
In an interaction with media persons here on Wednesday, the Defence Minister said it was not only Pakistan which had not been taken into confidence by the United States before raid at the hideout of Osama bin Laden, but key ally United Kingdom was also kept in the dark.
He said the United States has sought some time to shift its equipment from the Shamsi airbase. He said Pakistan is not in a position to enter into war with America but Islamabad will have a review afresh its relationship with Washington.
The Defence Minister said Pakistan was fighting the war against terror through its meagre resources as America has stopped payment of CSF. He said it would be difficult for Pakistan to continue this war for long as it has already suffered immensely in economic terms as well as in the loss of precious lives.
Ch Ahmad Mukhtar said Senator John Kerry was the first American leader to visit Pakistan after May 2 attack and he assured Pakistan that he was ready to give in writing with his blood that there was no danger to Pakistani nuclear assets from the United States. He categorically stated that nuclear assets were completely secure and there is no danger to them from any side.
US Rejects Pakistani Demand to Leave Air Base
Officials Insist US Will Retain Control Over Shamsi Base
Fresh off of the public demand by Pakistani Defense Minister Chaudhry Mukhar that the United States must immediately vacate the Shamsi Air Base, a small airfield in Pakistani Balochistan which the US has been using for drone attacks, the Obama Administration has officially rejected the demand.
The consequences of this unprecedented stance remain to be seen, but US officials insist that Shamsi is not being vacated, nor will it be vacated, and that the US will rather continue to use the base. If they assume that the Pakistani government will simply let the matter drop or not, they seem intent on occupying the base outside of the Zardari government’s consent.
Pakistani Air Force officials say that the military has already informed the US personnel operating at the base that no security will be provided to them, though the district’s MP insists that there has been no local indication of removal since the government first broached the subject nearly two months ago.
The Shamsi air base has been the source of CIA drone strikes across Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the demand to vacate the base comes amid repeatedly Pakistani demands to stop unilateral drone strikes, which the US has repeatedly refused to do. Other Pakistani military officials say two bases were originally given over to the US, and that the US had already vacated the Jacobabad base some time ago.