Arichive-Paktia-Operation
News - May 24, 2021

US constructing military base across Durand Line unproven claim

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some local sources have confirmed the US is busy in constructing a new military base on the other side of the Durand Line but US official recently said no agreement reached with Afghanistan’s neighbours for basing US troops.

Claim: US constructing military base across Durand Line

Sarkhat Newspaper on May 20 reported that the US has started constructing a large military base on the other side of Durand Line.

Without giving more details, the source wrote that Russian media had claimed that the US and Pakistanis jointly constructing military bases from Shelozan to Tari Mangal and Jazo Maidan area. Russian media claimed to have evidence in this regard while the news is circulating in the social media as well.

Kabul News also claimed US is constructing military base across the Durand Line. In a news report Kabul News cited residents of locality and some lawmakers who confirmed the development.

This comes that earlier on May 12 Pakistani Foreign Minister said that they will not provide US forces military bases in Pakistan.

Renowned Pakistani Journalist Tahir Khan told Pajhwok Afghan News they he is aware of similar reports but did not believe such reports will be true. The US has no need to construct such military bases.

Fact Check:

US Embassy Kabul Spokesperson Hilary Fuller Renner did not want to comment on the matter but she referred to Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Helvey recent appearance during congressional testimony.

Helvey told the US lawmakers: “We do not have an agreement with any of those countries. But as I indicated in my–in response to a previous question, you know, we are–we are working all the different options that we have in concert with our State Department intelligence community colleagues to establish the types of arrangements that give us the access basic and over flight necessary to– address the terrorism threats.”

 

Residents on both sides of Durand Line in Paktia province told local officials that from the past two weeks the US is busy in constructing a new military base on the other side of Durand Line.

Abdullah Zazai, a tribal elder, said on the other side of Durand Line in Shelozan, TariMangal and JazoMaidan areas in Pakistan a huge project to deploy US forces is underway.

He said: “According to our information that we received from Afghans on the other side of the line massive activities are underway there and US plans daily land and fly.”

Another resident of locality Jamal Naseem acknowledged Zazai’s remark and said there are rumors that a huge hospital is being built where besides Pakistanis, Afghans will also be provided treatment.

“People say a huge hospital is being constructed there where Afghans could also be provided treatment but according to our assessments, the situation on the ground tells another story. The ‘large military plane and other huge aircraft show that a military base is being constructed not hospital.”

Another tribal elder on the other side of Durand Line who wished not to be named said the movement of military personnel, aircrafts and vehicles had started recently here.

He said Pakistani forces have established check-points for the ongoing construction work and common people are not allowed to visit the site.

Zazai Aryoub District Chief Kiftan Ekhlas also confirmed to Pajhwok that US forces are busy in construction of a huge military base on the other side of Durand Line. He said fighter aircraft and military cargos planes can be seen landing and flying in the area.

This comes as recently US Commander Central Command Gen. McKenzie said that after the pullout of forces from Afghanistan, the US surveillance aircraft will continue operations in Afghanistan.

He said the US was engaged with Afghanistan’s neighboring countries for deploying some US forces there or they will allow airspace to US forces.

US chief Negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad said that Afghanistan’s neighbors had assured them of cooperation in fight against terrorism after US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Talks had been held with Afghanistan’s neighbors for advance cooperation in the face of future terrorist attack or monitoring situation in Afghanistan,” he said.

The matter of US forces military base construction on the other side of Durand Line was shared with US Embassy in Kabul but they did not respond.

Outcome: Some local sources claim the US is constructing a military base on the other side of Durand Line, some experts believe the US has no need for such bases while US officials have not denied basing US troops in Afghanistan’s neighborhood.

Earlier some US officials said talks on advance cooperation have held with Afghanistan’s neighbors to monitor future situation in Afghanistan and assess potential terrorist threat.

 

Ahmad Sohaib Hasrat

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