Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday that the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee has asked (USA) to vacate Shamsi Airbase by December 11, 2011.
He was responding to the queries of media after inaugurating the first ever UAE Expo 2011 – Magnificent 7 at Karachi Expo Centre. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al-Qasmi, Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim were also present on the occasion.
Gilani said that the Committee has given the deadline in a letter to US military command. Replying to a question regarding Pakistan’s decision to boycott Bonn conference, he said that Afghanistan’s land was used to attack Pakistani checkposts in Mohmand Agency and therefore we cannot attend this conference under protest.
He said “Afghan President Hamid Karzai had telephoned me yesterday and requested to reconsider the boycott, but I told him that Afghan land was used to attack our checkposts and therefore, we cannot attend this conference”. The Prime Minister said “Karzai told me that Afghan force did not plan this attack, but NATO and US forces did it.
Gilani said that Pakistan was working towards peace and stability in Afghanistan and asked who would ensure our security. “Unless we are given assurances for our security, sovereignty, integrity, dignity, honour and self respect, we cannot attend Bon conference”, he added.
He said that “Pakistan wanted peace and stability in Afghanistan which is our neighbour. Instability in any neighbour leads to disturbance in the neighbourhood. Therefore, we can support Afghanistan only if the Afghan issue is resolved under political reconciliation with its neigbours”.
Responding to another query, Gilani said Pakistan wanted good relations with USA, but these can be possible only when they are on the basis on mutual respect and equality.