Washington, Mar 28: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi underwent a security check at a United States airport during a recent visit to the country. A television footage shows Abbasi, dressed in casuals, walking with his coat on one arm and pulling his suitcase with the other. Pakistan PM being put through security checks at a time when the US has been considering imposing visa bans and other sanctions on individuals in the Pakistani government has left the country furious.
The Pakistan PM was in the United States last week to meet his ailing sister. During the brief visit to the country, Abbasi also met US Vice-President Mike Pence where he was told that Pakistan will have to do more to address issues relating to terrorism. While he was being asked to put in more efforts to discourage nurturing of terrorist groups, at home, he was being slammed for shaming and humiliating the country.
“He should be ashamed for saying he went on a private visit. He is the prime minister… he has a diplomatic passport …there is no such thing as a private visit. He is representing the country… there are certain protocols when you are representing 22 crore people,” one of the arguing Pakistani TV guests said, The Times of India reports. (Also Read: No Possibility of ‘Judicial Coup’ in Pakistan, Says PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi)
The extensive security checks at the US airport came after Foreign Policy magazine reported that the Donald Trump administration is considering “weighing unprecedented political penalties” on Pakistan for nurturing the Afghan militants who have been waging a war against the Afghanistan government, backed by the United States. The US has also been considering cancelling Pakistan’s status of a major non-NATO ally along with imposing penalties on Islamabad.
“White House is now engaged in an internal debate about the tempo and scale of possible punitive steps against Pakistan. Some officials and military officers favour a hard line with Pakistan, maintaining that years of aid and accommodation have produced little in return. Amid growing frustration on Capitol Hill, Trump’s deputies are weighing unprecedented political penalties on Islamabad for harbouring Afghan militants waging war on the US-backed government in Afghanistan,” the magazine said.
It added: “The options under consideration include revoking Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally, permanently cutting off the US military aid that was suspended two months ago, and even imposing visa bans or other sanctions on individuals in the Pakistani government deemed responsible for providing support to the militant.”