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Pakistan slaps restrictions on United States diplomats in tit-for-tat row

Pakistan slaps restrictions on United States diplomats in tit-for-tat row”

In a tit-for-tat move, the Foreign Office has announced that all the USA diplomats in Pakistan would be facing restrictions from Friday under which they won't be able to roam around without seeking permission from the authorities concerned, a report of The News International said.

Pakistan has responded in kind to USA travel restrictions on its diplomatic staff and their families, which goes into effect today.

The U.S. government had notified Pakistani authorities that diplomats at its Washington embassy and consulates will be barred from traveling more than 40 kilometers from their posts without prior permission.

Earlier, the local media reported that Pakistan too planned to enforce similar restrictions on United States diplomats in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. They already are prohibited from visiting high-security areas, such as FATA, to protect them against possible terrorist attacks. The ambassador said that the unprecedented restrictions would impact roughly 250 individuals. "Both countries have to come close to each other, and measures like these do not help us to that end", he added.

"Probably they [the U.S.] have some other grievances, which is under discussion".

"The important thing is to have dialogue", he said. "We share the same objectives".

In April, in an interview with Voice of America's Uzbek service, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon said this restriction was placed in response to the same conditions Islamabad has imposed on U.S. diplomats. We believe that matters can be solved.

It was unclear what prompted the moves but the developments come weeks after Pakistan barred a U.S. diplomat from leaving the country after he killed a Pakistani motorcyclist in Islamabad. He has accused the Pakistanis of giving safe haven to terrorists the United States is fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan.



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