Mon, December 12, 2011
World > Americas

U.S. vacates Shamsi airbase within time limit

2011-12-12 02:44:57 GMT2011-12-12 10:44:57(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Goods of U.S. forces are seen at Shamsi Air Base located some 320 kilometers southwest of Quetta, capital of Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan, on Dec. 10, 2011. The United States has vacated the Shamsi airbase within the time limit given to it. The Shamsi airbase is under the control of Pakistani forces now. (Xinhua/H. Mohammad)

A U.S. air force plane takes off from Shamsi Air Base located some 320 kilometers southwest of Quetta, capital of Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan, on Dec. 10, 2011. The United States has vacated the Shamsi airbase within the time limit given to it. The Shamsi airbase is under the control of Pakistani forces now. (Xinhua/H. Mohammad)

Pakistani soldiers stand guard at Shamsi Air Base located some 320 kilometers southwest of Quetta, capital of Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan, on Dec. 10, 2011. The United States has vacated the Shamsi airbase within the time limit given to it. The Shamsi airbase is under the control of Pakistani forces now. (Xinhua/H. Mohammad)

A U.S. air force plane parks at Shamsi Air Base located some 320 kilometers southwest of Quetta, capital of Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan, on Dec. 10, 2011. The United States has vacated the Shamsi airbase within the time limit given to it. The Shamsi airbase is under the control of Pakistani forces now. (Xinhua/H. Mohammad)

A Pakistani soldier stands guard at Shamsi Air Base located some 320 kilometers southwest of Quetta, capital of Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan, on Dec. 10, 2011. The United States has vacated the Shamsi airbase within the time limit given to it. The Shamsi airbase is under the control of Pakistani forces now. (Xinhua/H. Mohammad)

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday the United States has vacated the Shamsi airbase within the time limit given to it, according to the APP, a government-run news agency in Pakistan.

In an interview with the BBC Urdu service, the Prime Minister said now the Shamsi airbase is under the control of Pakistani forces.

Earlier on Sunday local media reported that the last flight has taken away the U.S. personnel and equipment from the Shamsi airbase, marking a complete withdrawal of the U.S. from the airbase, which is demanded by the Pakistani government following the November 26 NATO air strike on two border check points that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

A spokesman with the Inter-Services Public Relations, a mouthpiece of the Pakistani army, confirmed the report and said that the army has taken over the Shamsi airbase.

Located some 320 kilometers southwest of Quetta, capital of Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan, the Shamsi airbase has reportedly been used by the U.S. since 2001 for launching military operations in Afghanistan and drone strikes in Pakistan's northwest tribal areas.

On November 26 following the NATO cross-border strike, which Pakistan viewed as a serious violation of its sovereignty, the Pakistani government has ordered the U.S. to vacate the airbase within 15 days.

In the interview with the BBC, Pakistani Prime Minister also said that the attack of NATO forces was an insult to the sacrifices of Pakistan, which sacrificed 35,000 lives of its people in the war on terror.

The Prime Minister also answered a number of other questions in the interview, said the APP.

To a question about Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari who is currently staying in Dubai for a medical treatment, the Prime Minister said that the President will return to Pakistan on the advice of doctors.

 

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