US diplomats being given full courtesies: Pakistan
Pakistan on Friday sought to play down a US State Department report that American diplomats were facing increasing harassment in the country.
Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday sought to play down a US State Department report that American diplomats were facing increasing harassment in the country, saying all foreign diplomats were being extended "full courtesies and privileges".
Responding to media reports on the harassment of US diplomats in Pakistan, Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said all foreign diplomats "who have been duly notified by their embassies and accorded accreditation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are extended full courtesies and privileges in accordance with the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic (and) consular privileges and immunities".
"The same courtesies and privileges are also extended to duly accredited US diplomats (and) consular representatives in Pakistan," Khan said in a statement.
The State Department report said US diplomats in Pakistan were facing increasing harassment against the backdrop of a sharp deterioration in ties after the killing of Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.
The harassment was described by US Embassy staff as "deliberate, willful and systematic".
The State Department report said: "Official Pakistani obstructionism and harassment, an endemic problem in Pakistan, has increased to the point where it is significantly impairing mission operations and program implementations".
The harassment included delaying visas for American staff, blocking shipments of materials for aid programmes, and surveillance of staff and contractors.
The report urged US officials to ensure that the harassment is raised in bilateral talks with the Pakistan government.