News / Asia

Report: US Diplomats Harassed in Pakistan

Members of a Pakistani civil society chant slogans during anti-U.S. rally, Islamabad, Feb. 28, 2011.
Members of a Pakistani civil society chant slogans during anti-U.S. rally, Islamabad, Feb. 28, 2011.
VOA News
An internal State Department report says American diplomats in Pakistan are facing "deliberate, willful and systematic" harassment at the hands of the Pakistani government in the wake of last year's killing of Osama bin Laden.

The report found that U.S. entities in Pakistan have long been subjected to "unusual" obstruction that has "reached new levels of intensity" since U.S. special forces raided bin Laden's compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad last May.

The State Department says the problems faced by the diplomats include delayed visa issuances, blocked shipments for both assistance programs and construction projects, and surveillance of, and interference with, mission employees and contractors.

But many of the sections that went into greater detail about the harassment were blacked out, along with several recommendations to rectify the situation.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry responded to the State Department report, saying all foreign diplomats, including Americans, who have been "duly notified by their embassies" and accredited by the ministry "are extended full courtesies and privileges in accordance with the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic/consular privileges and immunities."

The report was compiled by the State Department's inspector general on U.S. embassy operations in Islamabad. The internal office praised the embassy for conducting a complex relationship "with a passive-aggressive" partner that switches between being "an ally and an adversary."

Relations between Washington and Islamabad have been strained over several incidents in addition to the bin Laden raid.

Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan after coalition airstrikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops last November. Pakistan has also repeatedly criticized U.S. drone strikes targeting al-Qaida and Taliban-linked militants in the country's northwest, saying the attacks are a violation of the country's sovereignty.

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Comment Sorting
by: CraigD from: usa
June 25, 2012 11:06 AM
We then become a slave to Pakistan interests, as well as paying huge $$$ for nothing. Granted, Pakistan is nuclear powered, but we never tried to stop that, and now they are on the verge of being a failed state. Giving endless streams of $$$ is no solution.

by: Malek Tauqee/Towghi from: USA
June 22, 2012 4:40 PM
People like "Sean" are approvingly reflecting Pakistan's blackmailing strategy: 'By hook or crook, the whole civilized world should surrender to Pakistan and let it materialize its dream of reaching "the strategic depth", i.e. blockading Afghanistan and the rest of Muslim Central Asia while ethnic cleansing Balochistan BECAUSE it (Pakistan) has become a nuclear state (though roguely.)'

For the NATO countries including the US, the best way to confront the nuisance is to see how and why these countries looked the other way, to say the least, while the Islamic 'Republic' of Pakistan armed itself with nuclear weapons and continued to improve and increase them with the indirect help of of the West. It is time for the NATO and the whole civilized world to declare Pakistan a failed and ROGUE nuclear state and act accordingly.
In Response

by: Panditji from: Bangalore
June 25, 2012 6:13 AM
As a matter of fact, whole world is suffering from terrorism which created of US, as a muslims I considered US a ROGUE and failed state of morally. US has looted the wealth of the poor, grab wealth by giving nationality to the Rogue government heads who earned by corruption and loot from the their country. US a safe heavan for the looters and corruptive people.

by: craigd from: usa
June 22, 2012 1:29 PM
The big question is "why does the US feel such a strong need to have Pakistan as an 'ally'?" The US has continually snubbed India since the 1960's, even though they have been the best democracy in the region. It seems we love dictatorships, and countries that kill their own citizens. Why else would we have Mubarrak, Ghadaffi, Pakistan, and other dictators on our list of friends over the past decades. Sure, like in Syria and Libya, we will abandon a dictator once his own people rebel. But, that does not mean that we didn't use and support them for years before.

In this case, the US should just cut the cord. Stop ALL aid to Pakistan. Pull our diplomats out and send theirs home. If they continue to support terrorists, then remove "most friendly nation" trading status. I am sick of how much money we have given to these ingrates. We have been played for fools.
In Response

by: Sean
June 22, 2012 1:59 PM
Life is very complex, especially in international diplomacy. We need Pakistan to be on our side because it would be much worst if they were not-- both for Pakistan and for our regional allies. Pakistan has a weak central government that does not have full control of all areas of the country. Our actions (such as the drone attacks) make the central government appear even weaker as there is nothing it can do to stop it. This gives the Pakistani Taleban even greater leverage in the eyes of nationalist Pakistanis.

We must do all we can to help the central government succeed in our shared goals of keeping the Pakistani Taleban from coming to power, and keeping the Afghan Taleban from returning to power. All these public theaterics don't help, but a disunited nuclear-armed Pakistan is even more dangerous.

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