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October 11, 2001
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US to use two Pak airports for emergency operations

K J M Verma in Islamabad

Pakistan has permitted the United States to use two of its airports for emergency operations during its fight against Taleban regime in Afghanistan and Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden.

BBC, quoting officials in Islamabad, on Wednesday said Pakistan had decided to allow the US to use at least two of its airports for emergency operations.

A Pakistani government spokesman, however, during media briefing said he was not aware of any air bases being used by US troops.

A small contingent of US forces had already arrived at these facilities to make arrangements for making the airports operational, the officials told BBC.

The air bases located at Pasni in northwest Baluchistan and Jacobabad in southern Sindh would be used by US forces as recovery facilities during military strikes, they said.

The US forces had been allowed to use these facilities as part of government's commitment to Washington to provide logistic support during its strikes in Afghanistan, a senior government official told BBC.

He said under no circumstances would Pakistan's ground facilities be used for launching any air or ground attack inside Afghanistan.

The official said the US had assured them that these airports would be used as recovery stations in the event of any emergency during air strikes in Afghanistan.

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