US extends travel ban on Pak diplomats

US extends travel ban on Pak diplomats

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has pushed the imposition of much threatened travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats working here at the embassy and across the country in various consulates to another ten days. The ban was to be enforced from May 1.

Pakistan embassy has confirmed that the proposed travel ban has been postponed and could be implemented from May 11. “This is a proposal from the US State Department which is currently under discussion between the two governments,” the Pakistan embassy spokesperson confirmed adding, “the implementation of the proposal has been delayed till 11 May 2018 and during this period, the two governments are discussing to resolve the matter.”

Last month, Geo News broke the news that the Trump administration had communicated to the Pakistani government that its diplomats stationed in Washington could face restrictions in their travel movement if similar limitations on American diplomats in Pakistan were not eased up. Both sides denied the news while insisting that such warning had nothing to do with the fatal road accident in which a Pakistani citizen was killed by a U.S. diplomat. Later on, the Foreign Office in Islamabad confirmed that Pakistani authorities were notified about such a warning.

The full course of the communication was not shared in detail, but some details revealed that the diplomatic staff station in America would need permission at least five-days ahead from U.S. authorities to travel outside of the imposed 25 miles radius. The embassy staff has been in discussions with US officials. The move, if followed, will let the diplomatic relations between the two countries hit a new low.

It would be the first time for Pakistani diplomats serving in America to face such travel regulations, whereas past US government have practiced such codes on Russian and Chinese officials. The US Department of State was approached for reaction but the spokesperson did not comment.