USA to impose restrictions on Pakistani diplomats

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 22, 2018

The officials claimed that the limitations on travel are not restrictions but security measures in order to protect US diplomats, adding that the US State Department itself does not allow its diplomats in Pakistan to visit Fata, Karachi and certain other places in Pakistan due to security concerns.

"Yes, there are longstanding restrictions on movement of diplomats, including Americans, in Pakistan", the spokesperson said. "Regarding travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats in Washington, yes, we have received official communication regarding certain measures that the USA intends to implement beginning May 1, 2018".

In an interview with the Voice of America's Uzbek service, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon said, "Typically, these kinds of restrictions are reciprocal in nature, so I'll just leave it at that".

Pakistan has officially confirmed that the U.S. will impose restrictions on the movement of Pakistani diplomats and consular staff in Washington from May 1, restricting them from moving out beyond a 40 km distance from their respective consulates without prior permission. Shannon tried to downplay the impact of the US decision by adding that such practices were "very common in diplomacy", and instead of focusing on this the need was to look at continued engagement between the two countries. "It's my hope that we're going to be able to build on those in a way that helps this broader reconciliation process", Mr. Shannon said.

This "reciprocal restriction" is one in a series of actions that show the low-point of the Pakistan-U.S. bilateral relationship. U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly chided the Pakistani establishment and said that Islamabad has played a two-faced game by taking American money while supporting Taliban leaders that U.S. forces in Afghanistan are fighting against.

A USA embassy spokesman in Islamabad evaded comments on his country's restrictions on Pakistani diplomats but confirmed Pakistan's restrictions.

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