US officials confirm travel restriction on Pakistani diplomats

Thursday, 19 April, 2018 - 08:40

United States of America (US) has announced to restrict the free movements of Pakistani diplomats. According to the new restrictive measures, Pakistani diplomats at their embassy in Washington and at consulates in other cities cannot move freely within the US without seeking the permission from State Department. Which means Pakistani diplomats will be forced to stay within the 40 km of the city unless permitted to move outside the area.

Moreover, the diplomatic staff would need permission at least five days before traveling outside the radius of 40 km. In an interview with Voice of America’s Uzbek service, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Thomas Shannon confirmed the development and said that this restriction is retaliation to the same embargo Islamabad had placed on US diplomats in Pakistan.

This restriction will be applicable from May 1. Washington has reportedly notified Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, and Pakistan Embassy in Washington.  Though, initially, reports emerged that the restriction only comes into effect, if certain issues will remain unresolved between the countries. Shannon played down the development and regarded such steps as a routine matter. There is nothing new in this, he asserted.

Pakistan and the U.S. have indulged in a diplomatic dispute over the killing of Ateeq Mir when the vehicle of US Defense and Air Attaché Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall broke the red traffic signal and rammed into a motorcycle of the deceased. Ateeq Mir died on the spot, while; the other young man Raheel Ahmed was injured critically.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) observed that diplomatic immunity does not permit killing someone. Justice Aamer Farooq gave the remarks while hearing a petition seeking the placement of a US diplomat who fatally ran over a young man in Islamabad earlier this month on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Source: Global Village Space.