US imposes travelling restrictions on Pakistani diplomates

Islamabad Politics Monitor: The United States is imposing travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats starting Friday (today), Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry told VOA Thursday.

“In my opinion, this is not the right decision,” Chaudhry told American media. “Both countries have to come close to each other, and measures like these do not help us to that end.”

The State Department says it has “nothing to announce on the matter at this time,” but has previously said it has the “authority to impose a range of travel controls” under the 1982 Foreign Missions Act.

Last month, Pakistani media reported that diplomats would be restricted from traveling more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the embassy in Washington or consulates in other cities without permission.

Pakistani diplomats previously have been allowed to travel throughout the United States without limits.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry has called it a matter of reciprocity because most foreign diplomats, including Americans, face travel restrictions in Pakistan because of security concerns.

But, according to Chaudhry, there may be other issues behind the U.S. decision.

“Probably they [the U.S.] have some other grievances, which is under discussion. We believe that matters can be solved. A mechanism has been worked out,” he said. “This step was not necessary. But now that they’ve taken this decision, they must have thought it through.”

 

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