Islamabad: In a retaliatory action, Pakistan will impose “reciprocal” travel restrictions on US diplomats stationed across Pakistan, says a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO) said on Thursday.
In a letter addressed to the Embassy of the United States of America, the FO said the decision had been taken in the aftermath of the recent State Department decision to introduce a new travel regime for Pakistani diplomats and their dependents. Pakistan will impose restrictions w.e.f May 11.
The measures listed in the document are:
Introducing similar travel permission for US embassy/consulate staff in Pakistan.
Treating US diplomatic cargo at Pakistani airports and ports strictly in accordance with the provisions of Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (which does not provide an exemption from scanning).
Implementing strictly the rules (already shared with the embassy on 27 April 2018) governing interaction between Pakistan government officials and foreign diplomats.
Use of tinted glass on official vehicles and rented transport.
Use of non-diplomatic number plates on official vehicles.
Use of diplomatic number plates on unspecified/rented vehicles.
Use of biometrically unverified/unregistered cell phone SIMs.
Hiring or shifting of rented properties without prior NOC.
Installing radio communication at residences and safe houses without prior NOC.
Overshooting visa validity periods and having multiple passports.
US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon said earlier in April that ‘reciprocal’ travel restrictions will be imposed on Pakistani diplomats in the US. In an exclusive interview with Voice of America’s Uzbek Service, Shannon said: “Our diplomats are under travel restrictions. They can travel further [than 40 kilometres], but they have to notify the government of Pakistan. It’s very common in diplomacy”.