In a blow to the diplomatic relations between US and Pakistan, Pakistan has imposed new travel restrictions on the United States diplomats. All American cargo will now be scanned at all Pakistani airports.
The removal of various exemptions and the imposition on movements was taken in a tit-for-tat move after the Trump administration had earlier decided to impose travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats in the US.
Also, the US diplomats now have been banned from using tinted glass on official vehicles and rented transport. Further, the embassy has been barred from using non-diplomatic number plates on their vehicles.
In addition to this, the diplomats can no longer use unregistered mobile SIMs or hold multiple passports.
According to a notification, tweeted by Hassan Akbar, a Pakistan-based foreign affairs expert, a number of such exemptions and restrictions came into effect yesterday following US travel restrictions that also came into force at the same time.
“As #US places travel restrictions on #Pakistan’s diplomats, the #ForeignOffice is set to lift special exemptions enjoyed by #USembassy in Islamabad including exemption from cargo scanning, use of unregistered car plates and SIMs, renting safe houses without NOC etc,” he tweeted.
As #US places travel restrictions on #Pakistan’s diplomats, the #ForeignOffice is set to lift special exemptions enjoyed by #USembassy in Islamabad including exemption from cargo scanning, use of unregistered car plates and SIMs, renting safe houses without NOC etc. List below. pic.twitter.com/nF6dkFezdr
— Hassan Akbar (@hass_akbr) May 11, 2018
The Trump administration has decided that the officials of the Pakistan Embassy and four consulates are required to get permission from the State Department five days before going beyond the set limits.
The decision was taken after the Trump administration turned around Islamabad’s request to put the name of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar leader, Umer Khalid Khurasani aka Abdul Wali on the UNSC sanctions committee’s list.
Pakistan had earlier attacked the United States saying that the top militant leaders are residing inside Afghanistan in full view of NATO and the US troops.
Following this allegation, Trump’s administration turned down Islamabad’s request to put the name of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar leader, Umer Khalid Khurasani also known as, Abdul Wali, a terrorist listed on the UNSC sanctions committee’s list.
Pakistan has also decided that from May 11, restrictions will be imposed on all American diplomats and their movements.
The US fired back saying that Pakistani diplomats in Washington D.C. would be facing similar restrictions.
It also believed that back-door negotiations are underway between the two countries.
Pakistan also clarified for not allowing Pakhtun Afghan refugees in the PTM (Pashtun Tahafuz Movement) rallies.
Earlier in April this year, the United States and Pakistan had faced tensions over visa policy. Pakistan had received a notification by the US imposing restrictions on the movement of Pakistani diplomats as they would need to apply for permission at least five days ahead of an intended travel outside the imposed 25 miles radius.
On the other hand, the US officials, in discussion with their Pakistani counterparts, argued that Islamabad had already slapped similar restrictions on its diplomats, who are barred from travelling to Karachi and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The tensions had escalated to an extent that the US had introduced short duration visas for Pakistani officials.
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