Tewari seeks clarification from govt on US asking India for use of airbase

Congress MP Manish Tewari on Wednesday sought clarification from the government after reports surfaced that the United States has approached India to allow use of airbases situated at North West frontiers.

Tewari in a statement said, “Is it correct that US Secretary Blinken has approached India to allow its bases in Northwest to be used for Air Strikes against Afghanistan?”

He said that the PMO needs to clarify soon as whichever nation has allowed US to utilise its soil for Military operations, blow back has been devastating.

“Over the past 70 years, no foreign forces have ever been allowed to base themselves in India. It would constitute the gravest violation of India’s sovereignty. From Okinawa, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Loas, Kampuchea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Latin & S. America, history littered with the debris & consequences of allow any US or other foreign Military presence on a Nation’s soil. Such basing rights would be a frontal attack on India’s sovereignty and a complete sell out of our National interest. It needs to be neutered in the bud,” he added.

Tewari was commenting on news reports which said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the Afghanistan issue said that the United States is in touch with India on using as a post for aerial strikes in Afghanistan.

Blinken’s statement comes days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi participating in person in the Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework in Washington DC on September 24, 2021, being organised by the US.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden will also be attending the Summit to review the progress made since their first virtual Summit on March 12 this year and discuss regional issues of shared interest.

The discussion would be focusing around critical and emerging technologies, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber security, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, climate change, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, combating Covid-19 pandemic and addressing climate change issues.

The four QUAD member nations have always been vocal for rule-based order in the Indo-Pacific region amidst Chinese military assertiveness in the region whereas Beijing observes this grouping as detrimental to its influence in the region.