A senior official in Balochistan government on Sunday has confirmed that two US special aircraft arrived at Shamsi Airbase located in Balochistan’s Washuk district in connection with measures to vacate the base after deadline given to US by the Pakistani government. Shamsi airbase is located some 400 kilometers, southwest of the provincial capital and it is at a distance of around 150 kilometres from Afghan border.
This base was being utilised by rulers of UAE for hunting of Houbara Bustard but after US attack on Afghanistan the base was handed over to Washington. This base is being used US Army and CIA for military purposes in Afghanistan and some quarters had alleged that it was also being used for US drone attacks in tribal areas of Pakistan. Pakistan had asked the US authorities for vacating the base after NATO fighter jets and helicopters bombed two border posts in Mohmand agency near the Afghan border and killed 24 soldiers on November 26. When TheNation contacted a senior official of Balochistan government, he confirmed arrival of two US airplanes on this base. ‘Two US airplanes had landed at Shamsi Airbase on Sunday and both aircraft after remaining there for some hours flew back,’ he said, adding ‘indications suggest that this base is being vacated’. On the other hand, a local journalist in Kharan told this scribe that two US aircraft were seen landing at the base. He said that security of the area had also been beefed up in the wake of reports of evacuation of Shamsi Airbase.
Agencies add: US military personnel stationed at Shamsi Airbase have started to leave after the country’s government told them to go. “Two US cargo planes reached Shamsi Airport and the loading of the equipment and other cargo items has also started,” an official privy to developments at Shamsi base told NBC News.
Security personnel have taken measurers outside the airbase and all roads in the area have been closed.
More than 70 US Marines and CIA operatives who were present at Shamsi Base are due to leave.