Pakistan imposes travel restrictions on US diplomats

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Pakistan's foreign ministry on Friday imposed travel restrictions on US diplomats in the country in a move that promises to further deteriorate diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Dawn newspaper has reported that the latest move of restricting movements of US diplomats in the country may have been made as a response to similar restrictions allegedly against Pakistani diplomats in the US. As a result, the US embassy in Islamabad will now have to seek permission for things like tinting windows of official vehicles, installing radio communication devices at residences and safe houses, using non-verified SIM cards and for moving from one property to another.

Certain movements of US diplomats in Pakistan had already been curtailed owing to security reasons. For example, they are prohibited from travelling to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

In recent weeks, Pakistan and the US have seen relations nose-dive leading to diplomats of both countries being subjected to several restrictions. A major bone of contention has been the case of a US diplomat allegedly jumping a signal in Islamabad and running over two youths on a bike. While one of them died in the accident, the Islamabad High Court recently ruled that US Defence and Air Attaché Col Joseph Emanuel Hall will not have full diplomatic immunity. Such incidents have further fueled the raging fire between the two countries.

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