Pakistan US diplomatic row likely to worsen in coming days: Report

Pakistan US diplomatic row likely to worsen in coming days: Report

WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistan diplomatic row may worsen in coming days as both countries may impose restrictions on each others diplomats.

Pakistan and US are engaged in a diplomatic dispute which — despite denials from both sides — could lead to strict restrictions on the movement of their diplomats.

The Trump administration has notified Pakistani authorities that diplomats at their embassy in Washington and at consulates in other cities will not be able to travel beyond 40km from their posts without permission.

The notice, shared with the Pakistan Embassy in Washington and sent also to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, indicates that the restrictions could be imposed from May 1, if certain issues remained unresolved.

Both sides clarify it has nothing to do with the accident when a diplomat ran a red light and killed a motorcyclist in Islamabad

The US State Department in an email reply to leading English Daily has said: “I can confirm that there are no restrictions on travel for Pakistani diplomats in the United States.”

Asked if those restrictions could be imposed in the near future, the US official said: “Beyond that, we have nothing to announce at this time.”

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Embassy also gave almost an identical response, saying that so far there were no restrictions on the movement of Pakistani diplomats in the US , but the embassy had no information about future restrictions.

The issue was also raised at the Tuesday afternoon news briefing at the State Department where spokes­person Heather Nauert simply said: “I don’t have anything for you on that.”