Prime Minister Imran Khan has categorically said that Pakistan will ‘absolutely not’ allow any bases and use of its territory for any sort of action inside Afghanistan. “Absolutely Not. There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not,” the prime minister told ‘Axios on HBO’ in an interview. In an excerpt of the interview shared on Axios website to be aired early Monday morning, interviewer Jonathan Swan questions, “Would you allow the American government to have CIA here in Pakistan to conduct cross-border counter-terrorism missions against al-Qaeda, ISIS or the Taliban?” Stunned over the prime minister’s clear-cut response of ‘absolutely not’, the interviewer interrupts him asking, “seriously”, to reconfirm his words. The US is in talks with Pakistan and other regional countries for cooperation in future operations in the war-torn country to keep a check on militancy. However, the country has conveyed to Washington that it is not possible. Earlier, in a press briefing at the White House, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had said that they had constructive discussions through military, intelligence, and diplomatic channels with Pakistan about the future of America’s capabilities to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a base from which al Qaeda or ISIS or any other terrorist group can attack the United States. “But in terms of the specifics of what that will look like, that will have to remain in those private channels as we work through them,” he had said without sharing further details. Sullivan had said they are talking to a wide range of countries about how they build effective, over-the-horizon capacity, both from an intelligence and a defence perspective, to be able to suppress the terrorism threat in Afghanistan. Later the New York Times had reported that negotiations with Pakistan had reached an ‘impasse’. “Some American officials said that negotiations with Pakistan had reached an impasse for now. Others have said the option remains on the table and a deal is possible,” the NYT report had stated, adding that the rapid withdrawal of US troops has left the CIA seeking ways to maintain its intelligence-gathering, war-fighting and counterterrorism operations in Afghnaistan. Reacting to the NYT report, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that Pakistan wanted a stable Afghanistan but there were some elements who did not want peace in the region. He had categorically stated that Pakistan had refused to give military bases to the US, and added that he had told all the political parties in a briefing that they have no such intention. “Search for bases could be their wish. There’s no question of giving them bases, we have to see our interest,” he had stated. Later in a cabinet briefing, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain had also ruled out the possibility of any airbase of the United States in Pakistan, saying as all such facilities were under Pakistan’s own use. He said it was the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government which had ended ‘drone surveillance’ facility given to the US in the past. “All the airbases are under the use of Pakistan. Right now, no negotiations in this regard are underway as Pakistan cannot give any airbase [to any country],” he had asserted.