International relations between Pakistan and the US have deteriorated lately. One could easily argue that they are at an all-time low since the Trump administration took over. To make matters worse, it has been confirmed that America has imposed new restrictions on Pakistani diplomats traveling to the United States.
According to an official from the Trump administration, Pakistani diplomats can no longer move freely in America without seeking permission first. Reportedly, diplomats would need to stay within 40 kilometers of the city they are stationed in.
Sources indicate that these new rules will take effect on May 1st. Once they go into effect, Pakistani diplomats will need to ask for permission 5 days prior to their travel date outside the specified radius.
The Travel Ban
American administration says that the ban has been imposed after Pakistan did the same for US diplomats on her soil. The official added;
Our diplomats are under travel restrictions. They can travel further, but they have to notify the government of Pakistan.
Pakistan responded to the statement by mentioning that the restrictions were imposed to ensure the diplomats’ security. Pakistan previously barred American diplomats from traveling to Karachi and to several tribal areas.
America’s Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, while talking about restrictions, told:
Typically, these kinds of restrictions are reciprocal in nature, so I’ll just leave it at that.
He added that such practices are common and both countries will look to find a way forward. Officials from both countries added that the ban has nothing to do with the recent incident where a US diplomat killed a Pakistani citizen in a road accident in Islamabad.
There were rumors of restrictions on Pakistani diplomats a week before as well. However, Pakistan government and US embassy in Islamabad denied all those reports.
This time, the US government official told that Pakistani authorities have been notified of the new rules.