Pakistan Air Force has decided to have a new air base in Balochistan–Nasirabad. This could not come at a sensitive time, when the US has already requested Pakistan for basing rights to be used for its counter terrorism Ops in Afghanistan following its forces withdrawal from the country. Contrary to Jacobabad Base in Sindh–which is restricted for use of American made hardware only for technology proliferation concerns–”the new airbase will most likely act as supplementary facility to deploy JF-17 Block-IIIs, Logistics, UAVs etc”, said commentator, Shahid Raza who understands the PAF’s professional requirement for new bases. Jacobabad Airbase can only host F-16C/D block-52+ Fleet or other F-16s and is located to counter any threat given India’s “Proactive War Doctrine”. But the new base in Balochistan can deter threats from the west: Afghanistan, Iran as well. The news of approval of a new base in Balochistan’s Nasirabad Division has provoked a constant theme to link the decision with the US request for Post- Afghanistan, ie, drones and flight rights. But it has remained in the realm of conjecture and speculation. Pakistan is very much aware of the implications of any possible such decision. For example, China is very sensitive to any such development as such it would not want to see any US sharing Pakistani bases along with the CPEC route–a flagship project of the BRI. Equally, aware of the concern of Russia, Islamabad would not want to see Washington give any sleepless nights to Moscow as it used to be in the cold war days–Pakistan’s Peshawar base was used by the US against spying Russia. The strategic concern of Moscow is to safeguard its mineral rich Central Asian region. Given the new detente in relations with Russia, Islamabad is expanding on its ambitions to link Moscow with its connectivity vision via the westward expansion of CPEC to leverage its Indian Ocean Maritime location. Russia is opposed to any basing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. So the last thing Islamabad would seek to do is upset China and Russia by extending a basing facility to the US. Iranian sensitivity is also a factor weighing heavily on policy maker’s minds. Pakistan does not want to be collaborating with the US in any threat against Tehran. Islamabad has only neighbours having no claim to its borders unlike India and Afghanistan. Another redline for Islamabad is not to radicalize its rightwing political forces. US possible basing facility will be a magnet for anti-American sentiments in Balochistan and KP provoking resentment and instability in the country. Yes, it will add to Pakistan’s leverage on the US, if Islamabad acquiesce to US demand of basing rights and draw monetary benefits. But it has to balance its decision with the possible cost it may want to offset against. The US preferred options are Uzbekistan or Tajikistan as per media reports but Pakistan has already suffered owing to US troops presence in Afghanistan for the last two decades hence it may want to see the end of the US military presence in the entire region. The government has so far kept a complete silence on the planned Nasirabad air base as a result it creates more speculations. For the sake of transparency, Islamabad must lay to rest these speculations.