‘Pak, US check movement of each others` diplomats’

Last Updated: Saturday, July 30, 2011 - 17:14

Islamabad: Pakistan has imposed curbs on
the movement of US diplomats and other embassy staffers in the
country, inviting a similar action by the Obama administration
on its officials in America, reports have said.

All US diplomats will now require to get special No
Objection Certificate for travelling to other cities, Geo TV
reported.

Pakistani authorities have imposed travel curbs on US
diplomats few days ago. The same curbs would also apply on
other diplomats, Geo TV reported quoting unnamed sources.
There was no official word and reaction from the US
embassy here.

In a tit-for-tat move, the US has also slapped curbs
on the movement of Pakistani diplomats and embassy staffers in
America, reports claimed.

The reports came days after Pakistan has repeatedly
denied US Embassy employees entry into Peshawar city in the
country`s volatile northwest region, police said.

Two groups of US diplomats were sent back from areas
in the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber
Pakhtoonkhwa province, this month, according to local media.

All foreigners are required to have special permission
to enter the northwest and southwestern Balochistan province,
officials said.

The reports came at a time when relations between the
US and Pakistan have deteriorated after the this month
blockade of USD 800 military aid.

The decision was aimed at mounting pressure on
Islamabad to take more steps against the Taliban and al Qaeda
militants.

However, the Dawn daily quoting unnamed US officials
that they discussed the idea (restrictions on Pak diplomats)
with Pakistani diplomats, hinting that from August 1, they
might need permission to travel outside Washington.

An unnamed State Department official, however, denied
any such move when asked to comment on media reports that
Washington had included Pakistan among the so-called rogue
states whose diplomats would need special permission for
travelling outside Washington.

Such restrictions already apply to Iran, Syria, Yemen
and the Palestinian Authority. Iran does not have diplomatic
relations with the US but it does maintain an interest section
in Washington.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 30, 2011 - 10:16

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