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US to place ‘reciprocal’ travel curbs on Pakistani diplomats

A US official said the restrictions were reciprocal, as Islamabad had also placed curbs on its diplomats in Pakistan.

world Updated: Apr 19, 2018 01:22 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
US,Pakistan,diplomats
File photo of the US and Pakistani flags.(Reuters)

The US has said that it will place “reciprocal” travel curbs on Pakistani diplomats in America starting May 1, restricting their movement to only 40 km of the embassy or consulate they were assigned to.

US under secretary of state for political affairs Thomas Shannon on Tuesday said the restrictions were reciprocal, as Islamabad had also placed curbs on its diplomats in Pakistan.

“Our diplomats are under travel restrictions. They can travel further (than 40 kilometres), but they have to notify the government of Pakistan,” he told Voice of America’s Uzbek service.

“Typically, these kinds of restrictions are reciprocal in nature, so I’ll just leave it at that.”

Shannon tried to downplay the move by stating that such practices were “very common in diplomacy”, adding that there was a need to look at continued engagement between the two countries.

Recently, the Trump administration had notified Pakistan that from May 1, diplomats would not be able to travel beyond 40km of their offices without permission of the state department. Pakistani diplomats would need to apply for permission at least five days ahead of an intended travel outside the imposed 40 km radius.

US officials also reminded their Pakistani counterparts that Islamabad had already imposed similar restrictions on American diplomats in Pakistan, who were not allowed to visit the tribal belt or Karachi.

First Published: Apr 18, 2018 23:52 IST