Badaber to Shamsi!

Badaber to Shamsi!

Who is deceiving whom? Whom should Pakistanis believe? Conflicting statements by Pakistani leadership and US officials have added to the confusion and deepened the mystery surrounding Shamsi airbase. While Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar announced that the US had been asked to vacate the base, US officials were quick to respond ,“that base is neither vacated nor being vacated,” and that no formal request was received from Pakistani authorities to evacuate the Shamsi air base.

The Defence Minister was surely embarrassed when Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan asserted that the government was unaware of any issue relating to the base, saying, “No such matter ever came under consideration in the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) of which I am also a member.”


The Washington Post recently reported that the US had halted drone strikes from Shamsi three months ago after the Raymond Davis dispute and all attacks since then were launched from bases in Afghanistan. While The Post also disclosed that US personnel and Predator drones still remain at Shamsi, the US State Department stated that it was not aware if the United States still had military personnel at Shamsi air base.

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