Pakistan’s Journalist Nagam Sethi Says US Intends to Acquire Airbases in Pakistan after its Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Pakistan’s known journalist and political analyst Najam Sethi has claimed that the United States is interested in acquiring one or two airbases in Pakistan as a surveillance strategy against several extremist groups in Afghanistan when the allied forces will leave the country.

In his view, America expects a surge in terrorist activities from Al Qaeda and other militant groups in Afghanistan, which can also be problematic for Pakistan as militants can increase terrorism in Pakistan.

Sethi disclosed it in the online talk show Naya Dour as he was analyzing implications of the new narrative of Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Bajwa on the fresh cycle of negotiations with India on the issue of Kashmir. The general revealed the new strategy and other political issues facing the nation during his recent discussion with a selected group of TV anchors in Pakistan.

Criticizing the new narrative, Sethi said other national institutions, including the political parties, parliament, and the civil government, are not on board with the military’s initiative on Kashmir.

In his view, the new strategy of negotiating with India can backfire as the nation is not ready to change its firm stand on Kashmir. The army, political parties, and the mainstream media have been telling them during the last 70 years not to compromise on the issue.

Sethi also mentioned the recent statement of General Frank McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, who highlighted security risks to Afghanistan’s neighbors, including Pakistan, from militant groups.

The general said in a press briefing a week ago, “As for the local or regional considerations, I think that’s very concerning to all the neighboring states, you know, biggest concern to Pakistan, it’s a concern of all the Central Asian states to the north.  It is even of concern to Iran in the West, I believe.  Everyone has a vested interest in a stable Afghanistan.  Everyone has a vested interest in an Afghanistan that does not harbor terrorist groups that have — such as al Qaeda and ISIS that have an apocalyptic vision of a future world.”

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