PESHAWAR: Four US nationals dodged policemen at a check-point on the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway and managed to enter Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s capital Peshawar on Sunday evening, sources said.
A police official at a checkpoint located on the motorway told The Express Tribune that there were two black and white Land Cruisers, which ignored police and intelligence officials’ signals to stop.
Law enforcement personnel chased the vehicles which, the official said, were coming to Peshawar from Islamabad. However, he said, it wasn’t clear where in Peshawar these vehicles were headed to.
He said that usually, police and intelligence personnel check foreigners entering Peshawar at this checkpost to ascertain whether they are carrying legal permits to enter the city or not.
However, the Chamkani police station did not confirm this incident and said that they have no information about this incident.
However, sources said the vehicles bore registration numbers SV-316 and SV-574 and managed to enter the US Consulate in Peshawar. They alleged that the vehicles even tried to crush the police personnel at the checkpost.
Restrictions on the movement of foreign officials, including diplomats, have been enforced following the May 2 Abbottabad raid which killed Osama bin Laden. Diplomats are required to acquire No-Objection Certificates from the interior ministry to travel across the country. However, following protests by the US over curbs, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that restrictions had been imposed on all Pakistan-based diplomats and no specific curbs were placed on Americans.
Instances of Americans being stopped for not having required documentations have been increasingly reported in the media. In July, three Americans were stopped at the Peshawar International airport on arrival from Islamabad.
Reports of deportation have also appeared. US national Mark DeHaven was arrested in February in Peshawar for overstaying his visa that expired in October 2010. He was deported and is being tried by a court in Peshawar.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2011.