• Pakistani security forces on Saturday took control of a strategically important airbase in the country's southwest after US military personnel
  • vacated the facility in line with a demand from the Pakistan government.

  • Pakistan had asked the US to vacate Shamsi airbase in Balochistan province after a cross-border NATO attack on two border posts killed 24 soldiers on November 26.

  • The US had been using the airbase since late 2001 for military operations in Afghanistan and drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt.

  • The United Arab Emirates had leased the airbase, located about 300 km from the Balochistan capital of Quetta, in 1992 for use by members of the country's royal family who travel to Pakistan every year for hunting expeditions. 

  • The UAE gave the US access to the airbase after the 9/11 terror attacks.

  •  Shamsi airbase was originally built to operate small aircraft and the US extended the runway so that larger military aircraft could be based there.