Wednesday December 01, 2021

Tit-for-Tat: All US diplomats in Pakistan to face restrictions

May 11, 2018

ISLAMABAD: In a tit for tat move, the Foreign Office on Thursday announced that all US diplomats in Pakistan would be facing restrictions from Friday (today) under which they won’t be able to roam around without seeking permission from the authorities concerned.

The US restrictions on the Pakistani diplomats will come into effect today. Under the Trump administration’s decision, the officials of the Pakistan embassy and four consulates are required to get permission from the State Department five days before going beyond the set limits.

Meanwhile, embarrassed and humiliated beyond words that top militant leaders are residing inside Afghanistan and using it as base to attack Pakistan in full view of Nato and US troops, the Trump administration has turned down Islamabad’s request to put the name of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar leader Umer Khalid Khurasani aka Abdul Wali on the UNSC sanctions committee’s list.

The government was reluctant to name the US which stalled this move but rather just pointed to “a member” of the committee while accusing it of “double standards”.

Left with nothing more than “disappointed”, the Foreign Office spokesman remarked, “We are deeply disappointed over the failure of the Sanctions Committee to list Wali who is a known terrorist and has the blood of hundreds of innocent Pakistanis on his hands”.

He argued that if Jamaat-ul-Ahrar had been listed by the Sanctions Committee, then its leader should also have been listed.

“This action demonstrates the double standards prevailing in the international fight against terrorism and also show complete disregard of the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in this fight”, he added without saying clearly that the Trump administration was demonstrating “double standards”. When questions were raised at the weekly media briefing, the spokesman responded, “As the discussions of the Sanctions Committee are confidential, we are not in a position to comment on these deliberations. The committee has not yet formally conveyed this development to us”.

As Pakistan-US ties further deteriorate, Pakistan has also decided that from May 11 restrictions will be imposed on all American diplomats and their movements.

The US also announced that Pakistani diplomats in Washington would also be facing similar restrictions.

However, behind-the-scene deliberations which have failed to produce results, continue, with the spokesman saying, “Negotiations are ongoing between the two sides on the matter”.