Holbrooke agrees to review new screening measures for Pakistanis
Islamabad: Taking note of strong objections raised by Pakistan over the new screening measures of its citizens going to the US, President Obama’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has said that the decision to include Pakistan’s name in the list of 14 countries, whose citizens would have to go for full body screening at American airports, would be reviewed.
“The US homeland security secretary would personally look into the matter,” Holbrooke told President Asif Ali Zardari during a meeting here.
Under the new rules, all citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen must receive a pat down and an extra check of their carry-on bags before boarding a plane bound for the US.
During the meeting, Zardari blamed the US led ‘war on terror’ in the region for ruining Pakistan’s economy and giving rise to violence.
“Pakistan’s industrial growth and export potential have been severely restricted, first because the region was a theatre of war against rival ideology in the past, and secondly because of rising militancy in the country as a consequence of the first,” The Daily Times quoted a statement released by Zardari’s office, as saying.
The President reiterated Islamabad’s call for the provision of drone technology to allow national security forces, instead of foreign troops, to target militants inside the country, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.
Commenting on the new Afghan strategy of the US, Zardari called on Washington to remain sensitive to Pakistan’s core national interests and concerns.
“American operations should be limited to the Afghan side of the border,” he said.
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