The recent Pentagon report regarding China’s plans to expand its international military operations and build bases in other states – with Pakistan a prime candidate – has been rubbished by Chinese state officials and termed “irresponsible”. This is fully understandable considering Pakistan has also often been at the receiving end of such American reports, that change when the American political climate changes.

Even if China were to cooperate with ally states and setup military bases in their territory with their consent, this matter would be between the Chinese and Pakistani states, and should not be a bone of contention with other states. The US cannot continue to morally police the world, and its recent arms deal with Saudi Arabia and its callous withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change agreement are just two cases in point of its moral bankruptcy. The US has many bases beyond its borders; releasing this report and informing the world of its own fears only tells us that the US wants the international community to be concerned by this development. And nations such as India might just take the bait.

However, countries like China don’t need to care about these American tantrums. These are matters of national security and their discussion and implementation belongs within our borders only. Whether or not the report is true is actually inconsequential for Pakistan – considering the state would probably be the first to know if a foreign military base was indeed being set up in Pakistan. But whether the government will be forthcoming with the people in the event that this is true is another matter entirely. And while there is nothing principally wrong with the military base of an ally set up in the country, relinquishing sovereign land to another nation should not be a decision taken lightly, and Pakistan must be wary of the long-term consequences. However, American national interest must never come before our own.