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Pak, US restrict movement of each others diplomats

Islamabad: Pakistan has imposed curbs on the movement of US diplomats and other embassy staffers in the country, inviting a similar action by the Obama administration on its officials in America, reports have said.

All US diplomats will now require to get special No Objection Certificate for travelling to other cities, Geo TV reported.

Pakistani authorities have imposed travel curbs on US diplomats few days ago. The same curbs would also apply on other diplomats, Geo TV reported quoting unnamed sources.

There was no official word and reaction from the US embassy here.

In a tit-for-tat move, the US has also slapped curbs on the movement of Pakistani diplomats and embassy staffers in America, reports claimed.

The reports came days after Pakistan has repeatedly denied US Embassy employees entry into Peshawar city in the country`s volatile northwest region, police said.

Two groups of US diplomats were sent back from areas in the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province, this month, according to local media.

All foreigners are required to have special permission to enter the northwest and southwestern Balochistan province, officials said.

The reports came at a time when relations between the US and Pakistan have deteriorated after the this month blockade of USD 800 military aid.

The decision was aimed at mounting pressure on Islamabad to take more steps against the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.

However, the Dawn daily quoting unnamed US officials that they discussed the idea (restrictions on Pak diplomats) with Pakistani diplomats, hinting that from August 1, they might need permission to travel outside Washington.

An unnamed State Department official, however, denied any such move when asked to comment on media reports that Washington had included Pakistan among the so-called rogue states whose diplomats would need special permission for travelling outside Washington.

Such restrictions already apply to Iran, Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian Authority. Iran does not have diplomatic relations with the US but it does maintain an interest section in Washington.

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