KARACHI: Pakistan has demanded a variety of restrictions (from the US and CIA) in exchange for the use of a base in the country, and they have effectively required that they sign off on any targets that either the C.I.A. or the military would want to hit inside Afghanistan.
This claim has been made in a report published by the New York Times today. The report quoted three Americans familiar who were privy to the discussions held with the Pakistani officials.
The report further claimed that in the light of recent pessimistic intelligence reports on Afghanistan citing gains by the Taliban and other militant groups in the south and east, and an imminent fall of Kabul regime following the withdrawal of foreign troops, CIA director William J. Burns made an unannounced visit in recent weeks to Islamabad, Pakistan, to meet with the chief of the Pakistani military and the head of the directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, the country’s military intelligence agency.
NYT quoted American officials familiar with the conversations as having reported that Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has had frequent calls with the Pakistani military chief about getting the country’s help for future U.S. operations in Afghanistan.
NYT said that CIA director Burns did not bring up the base issue during his trip to Pakistan, and instead, visit focused on broader counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries.