Pakistani, US officials hold talks amid curbs on diplomats

Pakistani, US officials hold talks amid curbs on diplomats
Dr Mohammad Faisal, Spokesperson Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. (Photo: Twitter/@ForeignOfficePk)

Islamabad:  Senior Pakistani and US officials held talks here on Monday amid tensions over tit-for-tat travel restrictions on each other’s diplomats, authorities said.

Both countries announced the measures after an American Embassy vehicle driven by Colonel Joseph Emanual Hall, defence and air attache at the US Embassy in Islamabad, was involved in an accident leading to the death of a motorcyclist in Pakistan’s capital on April 7.

A police report said another bike rider, who was injured in the same accident, informed the investigators that the US diplomat had violated signals.

Pakistan said on April 19 that the US was expected to impose restrictions on the movement of Pakistani diplomats and consular staff in Washington from May 1, according to Xinhua news agency.

Earlier, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon said in Washington that the Trump administration will place curbs on Pakistani diplomats because Islamabad had already imposed similar restrictions on US diplomats in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said the government awaited the outcome of preliminary investigations about the incident involving the US diplomat, based on which further action would be initiated against him.

Meanwhile, visiting US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells met Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Monday to discuss bilateral and regional issues focusing on peace and security in Afghanistan.

Faisal confirmed the meeting on Twitter but offered no details. This is Wells’ second visit in less than a month. She paid a week-long visit to Pakistan in late March after she attended an international conference on Afghanistan in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.