Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has hailed the United States’ decision to review its passenger screening policies, and described it as a ‘great success’ for his country.
Pakistan was on the list of 14 countries whose citizens had to go for full body screening before boarding a plane to the US.
“US congresswoman Sheila Jackson and American Ambassador Anne Patterson told me that America has decided to take back its decision of screening all Pakistanis. It’s a great success and the government will give the nation more such good news,” The Daily Times quoted Qureshi, as saying.
On Friday, reports in the media said that Washington is planning to discontinue its policy of nationality based security checks of America bound travellers, and would now select passengers for special scrutiny at airports on possible matches to intelligence information, including physical descriptions or a particular travel pattern.
According to senior officials, following immense criticism of the ‘discriminate’ screening of citizens from 14 specific countries, it was decided that passengers would now be asked for additional security checks if they match certain pieces of known intelligence.
Islamabad has been vehemently opposing the US’ ‘strip search’ laws.
The Pakistani leadership, including Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, has appealed to the Obama administration on several occasions to remove the country’s name from the list of countries whose citizens have to undergo ‘full body screening’.