May 12, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — US diplomats in Pakistan would be facing restrictions from Friday under which they won’t be able to roam around without seeking permission from the authorities concerned.
US 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 restrictions on Pakistani diplomats came into effect Friday.
Under Trump administration’s decision, officials of the Pakistan Embassy and its four consulates are required to get permission from the State Department five days prior to going beyond the set limits.
Trump administration’s travel regime forces Pakistani diplomats to stay within 25 miles of the city they are posted at, further straining already tense relations between the two countries who were once close allies in the war against terror.
The restrictions were earlier scheduled to come to effect on May 1, but were deferred until Friday by the US.
According to local daily Dawn, Pakistani diplomats, in private conversation, have pointed out that the US-Pakistan relationship was not as bad as the restrictions would indicate.
“We have received official notification of new restrictions placed on U.S. diplomats in Pakistan,” said Gregory McLean, a State Department spokesman to The New York Times.
Asked whether the United States would respond to Pakistan’s even tougher measures, Mr. McLean declined to say.
“We are in regular communication with our Pakistani counterparts,” he said. “We do not discuss details of diplomatic conversations.”
Despite recent tensions, Pakistan and the US still cooperate in a number of important areas, including defense, and the embassy wants this cooperation to continue. “The relationship is far, far better than such a step (imposing restriction) would suggest,” said a US observer.