Pakistan rejects charge US diplomats treated badly

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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office dismissed on Friday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s allegation about American diplomats being “treated badly” in Pakistan and noted that no specific complaints had been made by Washington.

“The Foreign Office has not received any specific complaints from the US side after establishment of the mechanism to resolve the issue, on treatment of the US diplomats in Pakistan,” FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said at the weekly media briefing.

Secretary Pompeo had, while testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, said: “My officers, our State Department officers, are being treated badly as well, folks working in the embassies and consulates [and]in other places are not being treated well by the Pakistani government either.”

Responding to these allegations, Dr Faisal said that all Pakistan-based foreign diplomats were being extended diplomatic privileges without any discrimination and were being facilitated as per international laws and norms as well as reciprocity.

Pak-US relations have been bad since the Trump administration last August announced the new South Asia and Afghanistan strategy. The tense ties turned further sour after a young motorcyclist was killed in a road accident involving a US diplomat in April and separately the US moved to impose movement restrictions on Pakistani diplomats in America — a move which was immediately reciprocated by Islamabad. Pakistan further withdrew several of the special facilities that were being enjoyed by US diplomats and missions under some secret understanding.

The two sides have remained involved in dialogue on the issue of restrictions on diplomats’ movements. Meanwhile, Pakistan while recognising the diplomatic immunity of the diplomat involved in the accident eventually let him leave the country last week.

The spokesman avoided commenting on the recently published book containing revealing conversations between former RAW chief A.S. Dulat and ex-ISI chief Asad Durrani.

However, he could not resist when asked to comment on Durrani’s claim that Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav would be allowed to return and categorically said that “this will never happen”.

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