Pakistan withdraws special privileges provided to USA diplomats, imposes travel restrictions

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A notification issued to the United States embassy in Islamabad stated that the reciprocal measures would come into effect immediately after U.S. restrictions are implemented.

Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States who now serves as a fellow at the Hudson Institute, another Washington-based research group, said in an interview that Pakistan had long treated American diplomats with intense suspicion, assuming that most were spies "because Pakistan's own spy agency is so ubiquitous".

U.S. diplomats in Pakistan are already prohibited from visiting high-security areas, such as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), to protect them against possible terrorist attacks.

Pakistan has stopped Hall from leaving the country and demanded the USA to withdraw his diplomatic immunity, so that legal action could be initiated against him.

Hours before the proposed restriction goes into effect in the US, American lawmakers reminded the Trump administration that it was not a smart thing to do.

The important thing is to have dialogue.

According to the notification issued by the ministry issued to the US Embassy in Islamabad, the reciprocal measures include travel restrictions and treating US diplomatic cargo at Pakistani airports and ports in accordance with the Vienna Convention's Article 27 "which does not provide for an exemption from scanning".

"US concerns about growing insurgency in Afghanistan appear to be the main cause for this shrinking space for Pakistan in the U.S., a point also highlighted by various speakers. We now need the civilian government to be stronger than they have been before". "Pakistan too wants peace in Afghanistan".

But while trying to allay U.S. concerns on Afghanistan, Ambassador Chaudhary made another point that may ruffle feathers in Washington. We believe that matters can be solved. It said the USA diplomats would not be afforded the luxury of "fast-track" luggage clearance at airports, would not be allowed to have more than one passport, and would stay in the country, strictly, as per their visa dates.

She noted that a large number of US nationals had been working with different NGOs and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Pakistan, and called for their expulsion from the country.

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