Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Pakistan imposes 'reciprocal' travel restrictions on USA diplomats

Pakistan imposes 'reciprocal' travel restrictions on USA diplomats

Reacting to the movement ban, the Foreign Office (FO) unveiled a set of changes in the government's dealing with USA diplomats in the country through a notification.

Announcing a set of "tit for tat measures" the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan said that special features such as biometrically unverified mobile numbers, use of tinted glasses and several such privileges would be withdrawn with immediate effect after the US State Department imposed travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats serving in the US territories.

It was reported last month that Pakistani diplomats would be restricted from travelling more than 40 km from the embassy in Washington or consulates in other cities without permission.

The measures include travel restrictions, as well as treating United States diplomatic cargo at Pakistani airports and ports in accordance with Vienna Convention's Article 27 "which does not provide for an exemption from scanning".

Pakistan's Ambassador to America, Mr Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry further clarified that the restrictions applied to Pakistani diplomats falling under the A1 and A2 categories.

U.S. diplomats in Pakistan are already prohibited from visiting high-security areas, such as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), to protect them against possible terrorist attacks.

The US lawmakers have also advised the Trump administration not to take imposed such restrictions as it was not a smart thing.

In the US, Pakistan's Ambassador Ejaz Chaudhary said on Thursday that he did not think this is the right decision.

This is the first time for Pakistani diplomats serving in America and their families face such travel regulations, whereas in the past United States governments have practised such codes on Russian and Chinese officials. "We share the same objectives".

Congressman Donald Norcross, a New Jersey Democrat, was one of two USA lawmakers who addressed a meeting of the Pakistani American Congress on Capitol Hill, emphasising the importance of continuing a relationship with Pakistan.

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