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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistani press asks US to leave airbase

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 10, IRNA -- Pakistani media and analysts are unanimous to ask the United States to vacate a key air base, which reports suggest is being used by spy aircraft for strikes in the country’s tribal regions.

The media also criticized the US refusal to vacate the Shamsi airbase in southwestern Balochistan province.

Defense Minister, Ahmed Mukhtar said this month that Pakistan has asked the US to vacate the airbase. Pakistani media reports that UAE, which had got the airbase on lease, has given it to the US for the use of drone aircraft.

The leading Urdu-language ‘Nawa-i Waqt’ in its editorial advised the government to forcibly vacate the Shamsi Airbase from the United States. It also called for expelling the entire US spy network in Pakistan.

The paper stressed that no drone attack should be tolerated in future and the capabilities and technology of Pakistan Air Forces be utilized and every drone entering into Pakistan's airspace should be shot down. “At the same time, supply line for NATO should be cut off,' the paper said.

A senior columnist Abdul Qadir Hassan criticized former military president Pervez Musharraf for handing over airbase to US. He wrote in an article in Express newspaper that the United States is using the airbase to kill Pakistanis after a general handed it over to it.

Another Urdu daily ‘Ausaf' in its editorial termed use of Pakistani airbase by the US as occupation and coercion. It said that the US can gradually increase its influence in Pakistan and the things could reach similar to the arrival of then East India Company into the Subcontinent that ultimately led to colonial rule.

Urdu daily ‘Jinnah’ in its editorial said the government failed to implement a unanimous resolution of the parliament which had called for halt to NATO supplies if drone strikes in the tribal regions were not stopped. It said there is need that not only the Shamsi Airbase got vacated from the United States but the CIA and Blackwater agents should also be sent back. The editorial also asked government must stop issuance of visas to new US agents.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30470620

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