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Did the government allow the US to use Afghan airspace for drone strikes? Fawad inquires

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ISLAMABAD – A day after the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) clarified the situation, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry asked on Saturday whether the government had allowed the US to use its airspace for the drone strike that killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in Afghanistan a few days ago.

A day earlier, ISPR Director-General Major General Babar Iftikhar addressed rumors about the use of Pakistani airspace in the drone strike that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, claiming that there was no such use “There is no doubt about the use of Pakistani soil in Zawahiri’s assassination. Fawad Chaudhry, on the other hand, wrote today on his Twitter account,

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“The question is not whether Pakistani soil was used for the Afghanistan drone attack, but whether permission was granted to use Pakistani airspace.”

According to US officials, Zawahiri was killed by a missile fired from a drone while standing on a balcony at his Kabul hideout on Sunday, in the biggest blow to the militants since US Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden more than a decade ago.

However, the senior PTI leader demanded that relevant ministries issue a formal response to his question because their current comments were “unclear.” The DG ISPR told Geo News a day earlier, “The Foreign Ministry has issued a clear statement regarding Ayman Al-Zawahiri.” It is impossible that Pakistani soil was used for this,” he says, adding that irrelevant remarks are made without evidence.

Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad categorically denied reports that Pakistan’s airspace was used for the US drone strike during his weekly press briefing in Islamabad.

“There is no evidence that this action was carried out using Pakistani airspace, so this is something I can [say],” he said at a press conference. The Taliban said earlier this week that the government had no information about the al-Qaeda leader “entering and living” in Kabul and warned the US not to carry out another attack on Afghan soil.

“The government and the leadership were unaware of what was being claimed, nor was there any trace there,” said Suhail Shaheen, the designated Taliban representative to the United Nations based in Doha, in a statement. “Investigation is now underway to determine the veracity of the claim,” he said, adding that the findings would be made public.

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