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Aizaz hopes Pak-US diplomatic row will be resolved

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s ambassador to the Unites States Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry says the country values and accords due respect to the US diplomats stationed in Pakistan and demanded that the US should reciprocate with a similar demeanor.

Speaking to the media here, the ambassador said both the countries have been making efforts to resolve the issues of diplomats.

Aizaz said a mechanism has also been devised to find a solution to their problems and added hopefully the matters would soon move towards resolution.

A day earlier, soon after the implementation of U.S. restrictions on Pakistani diplomats, the Foreign Ministry announced ‘reciprocal’ travel restrictions on U.S. diplomats.

Pakistani authorities sent a letter to the U.S embassy in Islamabad notifying them about the travel restrictions on the movement of U.S. diplomats in the country. The restrictions on U.S. diplomats are applicable from Friday, according to the ministry’s notification.

Other than travelling limitation, rest of the measures announced by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan include treating US diplomatic cargo at Pakistani airports and ports in accordance with Vienna Convention’s Article 27 (which does not provide for an exemption from scanning) and taking no objection certificate (NOC) from the ministry before installing radio communication at residences, and while moving or renting property.

As the notification reads, the use of tinted windows on official vehicles as well as rented vehicles and use of SIMs that are not biometrically verified or registered are not permissible for the U.S embassy anymore.

Moreover, U.S diplomats will also have to withdraw facilities of using non-diplomatic number plates on official vehicles, using diplomatic number plates on unspecified or rented vehicles, and overshooting visa periods and/or  using multiple passports.

The Pakistan move came after the U.S. decision to restrict the movement of Pakistani diplomats in America took effect earlier today. The measures will likely to further strain ties between the two sides.

US Restrictions

The U.S. government notified Pakistani authorities that diplomats at its Washington embassy and consulates will be barred from traveling more than 40 kilometers from their posts without prior permission.

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