United States to restrict the movement of Pakistani Diplomats from May 1

The United States will put reciprocal restrictions on the movement of Pakistani diplomats in their country with effect from May 1, the restrictions would force diplomats to stay within 40km of the city they are posted in, said a senior state department official on Tuesday.

Thomas Shannon said in an interview with Voice of America, that US is doing it because Pakistan has imposed similar restrictions on US diplomats in their country. Mr. Shannon was asked if the US will restrict the movement of Pakistani diplomats in the country, he said, typically these kinds of restrictions are reciprocal in nature, so I will just leave it there.

When Mr. Shannon was asked that Trump administration had notified Pakistani government on the decision, the senior US official said, “Our diplomats face travel restrictions in Pakistan, if they have to travel farther they have to notify the government of Pakistan.

Mr. Shannon tried to beat about the bush about the US decision and said this practice is common in diplomacy, instead of focusing on this the need was to continue engagement between the two countries. The Trump administration has informed Pakistani high commission about the restrictions taking place on May 1, the diplomats would not be able to travel beyond 40km in other cities without the permission.

According to the restrictions, the diplomat has to apply for travel grant five days ahead of their intended travel if it’s outside the 40km radius.

US says Pakistan has imposed similar restrictions on US diplomats, they are not allowed to travel tribal belt, Karachi and some other places, Pakistan however, argues that those are not restrictions but security measures in order to protect US diplomats.

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