PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Thursday claimed that the impression that Prime Minister Imran Khan had “taken a stand” against the United States by refusing to allow it to set up military bases in Pakistan was false because, in fact, no one had made a request for the bases to the government.
Addressing a public gathering in Haveli during his campaign for the upcoming Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) elections, Bilawal claimed that it was only the PPP that had taken a stance against Washington and closed bases during its tenure.
“You must have been hearing that the US will not be given bases and the prime minister has taken a stand.
“To tell you the truth, no one has even asked him, no one has made him a phone call, no one has asked him for a base, he is just saying it on his own,” the PPP leader alleged.
Last month, Prime Minister Imran had categorically said that Pakistan would “absolutely not” allow any bases and use of its territory to the US for any sort of action inside Afghanistan.
“Absolutely not. There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not,” the prime minister told Axios on HBO in an interview. The video clip of this statement by the premier went viral on social media and was widely shared by government accounts.
Bilawal in his speech said former military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf had provided bases to the US and it was the PPP that closed them. “If today they’re still closed then because of whom? Because of the PPP,” he added.
He recalled that after the Salala incident of 2011, the parliament at the time took a stand about closing US bases and shutting Nato supply lines until the US apologised for martyring Pakistani troops.
“And this strength is only in a national and democratic parliament, this puppet govt does not have that strength to do such big things,” he said, referring to the PTI government.
More to follow.