ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday assured full protection to US diplomats in Islamabad after a US State Department report said there was a marked increase in US diplomats being harassed by the country’s security agencies.
“Islamabad assures full protection to all diplomats guaranteed under the Vienna Conventions,” a senior official quoted Rehman Malik as saying during the meeting between the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Affairs and the US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter. The US ambassador conveyed his concerns to Malik.
“Complete security protocol will be extended to American diplomats in Pakistan,” Malik said, adding that Islamabad police would provide proper security and extend cordial atmosphere to all diplomats including US diplomats under international laws.
Law enforcement authorities extended certain privileges and immunities to foreign diplomatic missions and consular posts in Pakistan, Malik is quoted as having said. “The main purpose of such privileges is to ensure the efficient and effective performance of their official missions on behalf of their governments.”
“Matters related to bilateral relations came under discussion,” stated a brief press statement issued by the interior ministry on Sunday.
During the meeting, Munter also presented formal recommendations to improve the security and working conditions of his embassy staff in Islamabad. He also discussed policy matters such as the use of armoured vehicles by diplomats.
On Friday, Foreign Office spokesperson Moazam Ali Khan clarified that all foreign diplomats are extended full courtesies and privileges in accordance with the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic/consular privileges and immunities. “The same courtesies and privileges are also extended to duly accredited US diplomats/consular representatives in Pakistan.”
Published in The Express Tribune, 25th, 2012.
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