In yet another embarrassing setback for Pakistan, the US has decided to restrict the movement of Pakistani diplomats appointed in the US. As reported by tfipost.com in an earlier report dated April 10, 2018, the new directive to Pakistani diplomats regarding the movement of Pakistani diplomats in Washington will not allow them to go beyond the radius of 25 miles without taking prior permissions. Such measures are usually taken by the US for countries which it thinks as enemies. The Trump administration has taken this extreme step against Pakistan and its diplomats primarily because it considers Pakistan as unreliable and fears that its diplomats might indulge in such activities as are detrimental to American interests if they are allowed unrestricted freedom of movement across the United States.
Now this report has been confirmed by various media sources. The US has decided to impose travel restrictions on the Pakistanis from Friday. This has been confirmed even by Aizaz Chaudhry, Pakistani ambassador to the United States. He has further added that the restriction will cover two-tier officials stationed in the US bearing visa categories of A1 and A2. It is going to be extended to the families and children of the officials as well. He also stated that a warning had been sounded earlier as well as to the imposition of travel restrictions against Pakistani diplomats. This is for the first time that such severe and embarrassing restrictions have been imposed on Pakistani diplomats.
The Pakistan foreign ministry has tried to play down this development as a matter of reciprocity. They have claimed that Pakistan has also imposed similar curbs on foreign diplomats including the United States. However, they have also admitted that such curbs have been imposed on Pakistan because of Pakistan’s inability to ensure security from terrorism on its own soil. However, Chaudhary who is visibly miffed by this US decision has stated that there might have been “other issues” which led to this extreme step by the Trump administration. Indeed, the explanation by Pakistan foreign ministry is bizarre. Pakistan restricts foreign diplomats stationed in Pakistan not as a matter of choice but out of compulsion. Pakistan is a safe haven for terrorists which can’t protect even its own citizens. Similar situations don’t exist for Pakistani diplomats in the US, therefore, this does not seem like a matter of reciprocity but signs of the US distancing itself from Pakistan. Under Trump dispensation, things have moved quickly and cordial relations between the US and the terrorist state have become a thing of the past.
This has come as a rude shock to Pakistan and its government. For ages, Pakistan has been indulging in terrorist activities. It has not only been allowing terror outfits to prosper without any restrictions but has also been actively engaging in mischievous designs to hamper regional peace. Pakistan had been getting tremendous support from the US and the western world, especially from the Obama administration. Even though Pakistan was occasionally condemned, no stringent action was taken against it for engaging in terrorist activities. However, Trump administration has taken the notorious Pakistani establishment by surprise. He has made it clear that Pakistanis will not be given any special or differential treatment.
Under the Trump administration, relations between Pakistan and the US have been cold for quite some time. It was manifested with suspension of more than $1 Billion in the form of aid to Pakistan. A frustrated Trump had expressed shock over how aids worth $33 Billion had been extended to Pakistan till now but the US only received “lies and deceit” in return. Evidently, Pakistan has not even made an attempt of clearing its territory of terror outfits. This leads to the conclusion that Pakistani establishment is actively promoting terrorism by providing a safe haven to the terrorists and refusing to take any action.
This must be taken as a huge victory for Indian diplomats who have been following an aggressive policy ever since Modi government came at the helm of affairs. Instead of focusing on bilateral talks and dossier politics, India has aimed at exposing Pakistan’s misdeeds and terror agenda at every global or multilateral forum. The idea has been to humiliate and embarrass Pakistan before the world. This has finally brought an ideal result for India. Pakistan’s reality, being exposed in the open, it will now find it difficult to maintain close or strategic relationship with any country. It can no longer continue with its mala fide agenda and at the same time expect to maintain robust international relations.