Was Pakistani airspace used for Zawahiri killing via US drone strike?


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday raised the question whether Pakistani airspace was used in the US drone attack that killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul.
He even demanded a formal statement from ministries. Chaudhry’s remarks came after the country’s military denied use of Pakistani soil in the killing. They said there was no question of Pakistani soil being used for “such a purpose”, Geo News reported.
“The question is whether Pakistan’s airspace was allowed to be used to not,” Chaudhry tweeted today. “Repetitive statements on Pakistan’s land not being used are unclear,” Chaudhry stated.
On Friday, Chaudhry said Pakistanis wants to know whether they are again going to become a tool of the US against Al Qaeda. The former federal minister asked whether Pakistan’s airspace had been used for the US drone strike on al-Zawahiri.
On July 31, the United States conducted a precision counterterrorism strike in Afghanistan that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy and successor as leader of Al-Qaeda.
Al- Zawahiri was one of the masterminds of the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, and had continued to urge his followers to attack the United States.
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned that “providing airspace to America” could damage relations with Afghanistan.
“If we give space and if America conducts a drone attack in Afghanistan, it will affect our tribal areas. Do we want to become a part of someone else’s war amid these crises?” he had asked in an interview with Express News this week.
Following the killing of one of the chief architects of 9/11 attacks, Ayman-Al-Zawahiri, several media reports have strongly indicated that Pakistan may have played a significant role in his elimination as well as of his predecessor, Osama Bin Laden as many similarities have been found in both the attacks which took place eleven years apart.
Media reports said the US drone flew from a ‘friendly’ Middle-Eastern country using Pakistan’s airspace, however, no confirmed news emerged as in Osama’s case. The reports are, however, denied by Washington and Islamabad, as was done in Osama’s case.
The Pakistani military, and the Shehbaz Sharif government alike, are currently trying to secure an urgently-needed International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan from the US.





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